Communications

September 7, 2021
 

Trace Systems Inc., Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide communications systems acquisition, integration, installation, and operations and maintenance in support of U.S. Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT) deployed mission requirements. The not-to-exceed/ceiling value of the contract is $600,000,000.  The minimum guarantee will be funded by fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds. Primary performance will be at USAFCENT locations throughout Southwest Asia. The solicitation (HC1028-19-R-0009) was issued as a full and open competitive action via Beta.Sam.Gov, and seven proposals were received.

April 13, 2021
 
Effective supply chain management with government customers requires clear communications, says Zach Conover, general manager for Akima LLC’s subsidiaries Truestone, Lynxnet and Aperture Federal. Credit: Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic and the strains it put on the global supply chain is making businesses rethink how they supply their government customers, said Zach Conover, general manager for Akima LLC’s subsidiaries Truestone, Lynxnet and Aperture Federal. Akima is an Alaska native-owned government contractor providing services such as facilities maintenance and repair, information technology support, logistics and supply chain operations, and systems engineering.

March 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
One of the key challenges about 6G will be operating in ultra-high frequencies—in terahertz—and AT&T has started internal corporate development and external research at 60 U.S. universities to shape solutions for the next generation of wireless communication. Credit: Shutterstock/Den Rise

The telecommunications industry is currently rolling out the fifth-generation wireless network known as 5G, which is bringing more bandwidth, lower latency, high-speed throughput, improved reliability and increased connectivity to mobile communications. Off of that advancing communications point will come 6G, the sixth iteration of the wireless network.

August 27, 2020
 

Vectrus Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded an $116,821,426 modification (P00064) to contract W91RUS-13-C-0006 for continued support of critical operation, maintenance and defense of Army communications, which supports the Army Operational Base Communications Information Systems and infrastructure in support of U.S. Central Command forces. Work will be performed in APO Kuwait, APO United Arab Emirates, APO Afghanistan, APO Jordan, APO Bahrain, APO Iraq and APO Qatar, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $73,992,653 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S.

August 4, 2020
 

The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) awarded a $31.9 million contract to Victor, New York-based REDCOM Laboratories, Inc.* REDCOM is a woman-owned small business that specializes in the design and manufacture of advanced tactical and strategic communications solutions in a small form factor that provide interoperability, flexibility, and ease of use. Under the five-year contract, the company will deliver tactical communications software for multiple Army programs as part of the PEO C3T’s network modernization effort.

April 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Researchers generated a 3D surface using an artificial intelligence algorithm. The ribs in the different layers of the lattice are programmed to grow and shrink in response to a change in temperature, mapping the facial features of mathematician and scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss.  Illustration combines an image by Lori Sanders/Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science with a portrait of Carl Friedrich Gauss painted by Christian Albrecht Jensen in 1840. Edited by Chris D’Elia

Researchers recently announced that they can use a groundbreaking 4D-printing process to create material capable of morphing into the likeness of a human face, the most complex shape-shifting structure ever. The research may one day lead to advances in dynamic communications, soft electronics, smart fabrics, tissue engineering for medical purposes, robotics and an array of commercial applications.

March 25, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Amid the COVAD-19 crisis, first responders are turning more and more to communications through FirstNet, officials say. Credit: Shutterstock/Zoff

The COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has sickened tens of thousands of Americans and killed hundreds, is testing the viability of the FirstNet network in ways never seen before. The exponential increase in the number of cases in the country is pulling in more and more emergency medical services personnel, police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials, often in more remote areas, who all need real-time data exchange, network connectivity and communication tools.

January 24, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Marines with 2nd Marine Division conduct a light armored vehicle (LAV) crew gunnery atn Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, last June. A new tactical communications system for LAVs that the service will field increases situational awareness and communication capabilities for warfighters. Photo credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Q. Hamilton

To improve communications on the battlefield, the Marine Corps Systems Command, headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, gave the green light to field an advanced intercom system, known as the G4 ICS, for use in light armored vehicles. 

The Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles, PM LAV—led by Steve Myers—will begin initial procurement of the system in fiscal year 2021, with full operational capability in FY 2022, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) reported. 

July 31, 2019
 

Fairfax, Virginia-based Highlight Technologies reported on July 31 that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected the company to provide communications and outreach support services under an $18 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). As part of the effort, the company will support NIH's Office of Extramural Research (OER) with communications and technical writing support; website and social media support; grants information support; training support; workshop and seminar logistical support; and technical and administrative support. “Highlight is honored to work with NIH OER to support its important mission," said Adam McNair, COO of Highlight Technologies.

July 11, 2019
 

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Rockville, Maryland, is being awarded a $23,456,568 modification (P00043) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00421-15-C-0008). The modification provides for services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's Special Communications Mission Solutions Division, to support integrated communications and information systems radio communications for Navy ships. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in July 2024. Fiscal year 2019 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $4,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.

June 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The fifth generation of wireless technology, or 5G, is widely being promoted as a transformational technology, but its uses for the military are just starting to be defined, experts say. Credit: jamesteohart/Shutterstock

News about the coming 5G wireless network is seemingly everywhere, with advertisements referring to it as revolutionary or transformational. And indeed, the suggested “superpowers” of the fifth generation of wireless technology are quite impressive: great speed, improved latency and tremendous capacity in terms of bandwidth. 5G will provide connectivity to many more devices, support video and other digital images at much higher capacities and broaden the era of the Internet of Things. 5G will become the basis for critical infrastructure and the platform that enables the use of autonomous vehicles, which will alter daily life.

February 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle, center, a Royal Air Force F-35 Lightning II, left, and a French air force Dassault Rafale fly behind a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over the English Channel, during a November 2018 multinational training exercise. The Air Force is developing and fielding a new mission planning system for tankers using an agile software development methodology.  Photo by Air Force Senior Airman Luke Milano

A combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, fifth-generation communications and agile software development processes may one day allow commanders to direct any asset from anywhere, essentially revolutionizing command and control.

During the recent AFCEA Alamo Chapter Event in San Antonio, several officials agreed that the current command and control (C2) center known as an air operations center (AOC) has grown too cumbersome and vulnerable for Air Force commanders to make the rapid-fire decisions required in the modern era of multi-domain operations.

January 19, 2019
 

Fortis Nova A JV LLC,* Phoenix, Arizona (N62473-19-D-2426); Galindo Electric Inc.,* Vista, California (N62473-19-D-2427); Power Pro Plus Inc.,* Rancho Cucamonga, California (N62473-19-D-2428); Souza Construction Inc.,* Farmersville, California (N62473-19-D-2429); Synergy Electric Co.

September 13, 2018
 

D.L. Martin Co.,* Mercersburg, Pennsylvania (N64498-18-D-4012); Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc.,* Portsmouth, Virginia (N64498-18-D-4013); GSE Dynamics Inc.,* Hauppauge, New York (N64498-18-D-4014); and Rhoads Industries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (N64498-18-D-4015), are each awarded a $14,500,000 ceiling firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award service contract to support the assembly and test services for submarine mast, antenna, periscope and communication systems hull, mechanical and electrical assemblies. Work is expected to be performed at various Navy bases, ship yards, repair facilities and contractor facilities in the continental U.S..

August 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Army combat units on the move need different networking capabilities from support units that set up camp and stay awhile. Service officials intend to develop a modernized network capable of being scaled and adapted depending on the operational situation. Credit: Spc. Hubert D. Delany III, USA

The U.S. Army’s major overhaul of its network may lead to a communications structure capable of conforming to an array of operational situations, including the possibility of providing offensive cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

February 1, 2018
By Benjamin K. Sharfi
Not all rugged environments are equal. Military technologies require different kinds of ruggedization depending on the intended environment.

Defense computing systems need to operate in a highly disparate range of environments. Depending on the program’s requirements, ruggedness is a function of the environment each system will be deployed in. A system that operates just fine in a pressurized aerospace application, such as a wide-bodied aircraft, may have issues in a marine application, and may be completely unacceptable in a vehicle being driven through a hot and sandy desert. Even within airborne applications, the environment might be a wing-mounted pod that is completely unpressurized. Computing systems for each of these environments must be ruggedized to match requirements.

When rugged ... isn’t

March 10, 2017
 

Apollo Information Systems Corp.,* Los Gatos, California, is being awarded a $13,115,787 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 1,102 Fortinet FortiGate license subscriptions to support communications security for the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Poseidon aircraft for the Navy and the government of the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Los Gatos and is expected to be completed in January 2022. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $83,923 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

March 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
The PEO panel at the Army Signal Conference discusses technology needs for communications-electronics systems.

Not only does the Army want new capabilities to deal with dynamic changes in the warfighting realm, it also faces the challenge of obsolescence in many of its existing communications-electronics systems. Technologies designed decades ago are still carrying the freight for information that increasingly is sent in a format far different from the equipment that must deliver it to the warfighter and decision maker.

February 17, 2017
 

Rockwell Collins Inc.–Government Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been awarded a $12,887,772 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor will provide full-rate production of equipment for Increment 1 of the Common Very Low Frequency Receiver (CVRi1) program. Work will be performed in Richardson, Texas, and is expected to be completed by March 1, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 production funds in the amount of $1,337,478; fiscal 2016 production funds in the amount of $6,536,484; and fiscal 2017 production funds in the amount of $5,013,810 are being obligated at the time of the award.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A panel of U.S. military communications officers discuss their technology wish lists at AFCEA Technet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

A panel of U.S. military communications officers stationed in the Asia-Pacific region told the defense technology industry what they most need to accomplish the mission. The list included capabilities ranging from next-generation authentication tools to airborne command and control network modeling.

Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton, director of command, control, communications and cyber, U.S. Pacific Command, named advanced identity management. “The technology is there. It’s probably more of an acquisition [issue] on the government side, but I think that’s a critical one,” she said during a panel discussion on the final day of AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu.

September 26, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Col. Dean Fox, USAF (Ret.), counts international relationship building as one of the highlights of his military career.

The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.

Col. Dean Fox, USAF (Ret.), executive vice president for cybersecurity, AECOM, has done a lot of building of one sort or another throughout his active-duty career and afterward.

July 1, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.

1966-1975

June 2, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

No one needs reliable connectivity more than the nation’s armed forces, especially during the heat of battle. But reliable connectivity often can be hampered by a hidden enemy: latency and bandwidth concerns.

The military heavily relies on voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) for calls, web conferencing, high-definition video sharing and other bandwidth-heavy applications. While this might sound more like the communication tool for a business boardroom, it is equally applicable within the military and compromised systems come with potentially life-altering consequences.

April 26, 2016
 

Lockheed Martin, Moorestown, New Jersey (N00014-16-D-2002); ArgonST, Fairfax, Virginia (N00014-16-D-2003); Northrop Grumman, Linthicum, Maryland (N00014-16-D-2004); Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Advanced Technology Programs, Tewksbury, Massachusetts (N00014-16-D-2005); EOIR Technologies, King George, Virginia (N00014-16-D-2006); SI2 Technologies, North Billerica, Massachusetts (N00014-16-D-2007); S2 Corp., Bozeman, Montana (N0

May 17, 2013
George I. Seffers

 

May 13, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Exelis Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., is being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a maximum value of $127,150,517 for the operation, maintenance and defense of Army communications in Southwest Asia and Central Asia. Work will be performed in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Qatar. The Army Contracting Command, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is the contracting activity. 

April 29, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Harris Corp., Communication Systems, Palm Bay, Fla., has been awarded a modification to firm-fixed-price contract for two counter communications system (CCS) Block 10 increment 1 system upgrades. The value of this contract modification is $11,323,326 increasing the total contract value from $191,546,750 to $202,870,076. This modification provides for the exercise of an option for the upgrade of the CCS Block 10 system that will increase the overall capability using new, modified, and/or existing equipment. Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Superiority Systems Directorate, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity.

March 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
InDyne Inc., Reston, Va., is being awarded a $34,107,547.11 contract modification for range operations, communications and information services. The contracting activity is the 30th Contract Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.  

September 21, 2012
George I. Seffers

 
Data Link Solutions, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded $6,912,840 for firm-fixed-price delivery order under a previously awarded contract for Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVTs). The MIDS-LVT provides secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army platforms and other foreign users worldwide. This delivery order is for the government of Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. 

September 21, 2012
George I. Seffers

 
ViaSat, Carlsbad, Calif., is being awarded $15,819,052 for firm-fixed-price delivery order under a previously awarded contract for Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVTs). The MIDS-LVT provides secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army platforms. This delivery order combines purchases for the United States and the government of Turkey under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity. 

May 21, 2012
By George Seffers

Goldbelt Hawk LLC, Newport News, Virginia, was awarded a $9.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for the electrical and communication services for U.S. forces throughout Afghanistan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

December 29, 2011
By George Seffers

The Missile Defense Agency is announcing the award of a sole-source, incentive-based, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to Lockheed Martin Corporation, Information Systems and Global Solutions, Gaithersburg, Maryland, with an estimated value of $980 million. Under this follow-on contract, the contractor will develop, model, fabricate, integrate, test, verify, evaluate, validate, document, deliver, field, train, operate, sustain, and support updates and new capabilities to the command and control, battle management and communications element.

September 26, 2011
By George Seffers

InDyne Incorporated, Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $11,453,051 cost-plus-incentive-fee/award-fee contract to provide for the western range operations and maintenance; support services; testing, modifying and installing communications, information and computer system services; and testing, modifying and installing communications, electronic and security systems at launch facilities, launch control centers and test facilities. The contract is a two-month interim extension. The Air Force Space Command's 30th Contracting Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.

April 7, 2011
By George Seffers

Ocean Systems Engineering Corporation, Oceanside, California, is being awarded a $12 million task order for engineering and scientific support for networking and satellite communications. The scope of this statement of work is to provide engineering and technical support, on-going acquisition support, financial support, logistics support, website development and management, manpower, personnel, and training analysis report development and assessment, manpower, personnel, and training plan, development and support, administrative support and managerial support. The U.S.

April 27, 2010
By Paul Strassmann

Two weeks ago, I listened to a U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general plead for a lightweight personal computer that shooters could use at the squad level. All of the talk he heard about net-centric networks was meaningless because network centricity did not reach where it was needed. If the civilians could walk around with BlackBerrys, why couldn't the U.S. Defense Department provide comparable services?

March 19, 2010
By Katie Packard

"NATO SATCOM will certainly be handicapped if interoperability with national systems is not key to the design of how we go forward."--Malcolm Green, chief of Capability Area Team (CAT) 9 National Information Infrastructure (NII) Communication Infrastructure Services, NC3A

For the full article, visit SIGNAL Online now.

November 25, 2009
By Katie Packard

Beginning this month, 14 government agencies across the U.S. are part of a pilot program testing a new multiband radio that enables first responders to talk to each other across frequency bands. The DHS's Science and Technology Directorate developed the radio, which resembles current single-band emergency communications equipment but works on five frequency bands and can work on four additional bands used exclusively by the U.S. Defense Department, National Guard and Coast Guard.

November 24, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

A new capability called TactiCell will enable secure cell phone use in harsh environments. Warfighters will be able to text, talk and send video knowing their communications are reliable and protected. Maryann Lawlor's article Cell Phones on the Front Lines, in this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, dials in on the military's efforts to develop the TactiCell capability. The Joint Special Operations Command, a component of the U.S. Special Operations Command, began pursuing the capability through the U.S.

October 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

Military radio experts reveal emerging trends in acquisition and technology.

October 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

A key release for Blue Force Tracker brings new benefits to two theaters.

August 2012
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr., SIGNAL Magazine

 

Soldiers at a training facility receive instruction with the U.S. Army’s Secure Mobile Antijam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T). These soldiers learn to send and receive voice, data, video and text communications via Raytheon’s SMART-T secure mobile equipment without detection and interception by adversaries.

February 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

 
Federal officials stage a nationwide test to develop a next-generation approach to informing citizens.

April 2011
By Daniel P. Taylor, SIGNAL Magazine

The Navy is developing the new CANES shipboard network with its land-based cousin in mind.

Walk up to a terminal, swipe a card and log in to a single, consolidated network architecture. That is the future the Navy envisions for its sailors when they disembark after a deployment and want to use a network on land, or vice versa—something that is difficult to do in today’s environment of cluttered legacy networks.

May 2009
By Rita Boland

 
The GATR 2.4-meter Ku-band system sits in Germany during a U.S. Special Operations Command planning conference early this year.
Smaller, lighter technology offers same connectivity as its larger, heavier counterparts.

April 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

April 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
Satellite dishes are lined up for testing at Fort Lewis, Washington. The U.S. Army’s 51st Expeditionary Signal Battalion is training on new networking equipment before it ships out to Iraq later this year.
New capabilities mean new training challenges.

February 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

January 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
Soldiers with the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, radio other friendly forces during a search mission in Iraq. Experiences gleaned in Iraq and Afghanistan are changing the road map for U.S. Army communications.
The messenger is the message as course changes loom.

December 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

 
The rise in the number of technologies that demand their place on the spectrum calls for a balance among the military, federal government and commercial sectors.
Sharing a finite resource requires unprecedented cooperation.