SQR Systems, a London-based specialist in encrypted mobile communications is working with the MoD on a project to develop a solution for video communications as part of the Land Open Systems Architecture (LOSA) standardisation initiative. The purpose of LOSA is to enable the MoD to develop an open architecture approach for vehicles, dismounted soldiers and static bases, together with Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) to improve operational effectiveness in the field and reduce integration risks and cost of ownership. Last week the system was successfully tested in the field by the Yorkshire Infantry Training and Development Unit (ITDU) in an exercise that demonstrated that enhanced video communications could improve the ability of ground forces to anticipate and respond to enemy attacks.
To test interoperability, the recent field tests were run using components from different vendors transmitting video imagery from cameras mounted on armoured vehicles, running integration software on general purpose hardware devices which relayed images to a playback system in a remote command centre. This approach enabled integration of the open standards with legacy systems and equipment. The experiments were run overnight to test how the thermal video imagery enabled ground troops to improve their readiness and ability to anticipate and respond to a real life ambush situation.
The successful outcome of the tests are important steps in the development and evolution of the standard which will be used in all future MOD procurement. They will provide vital evidence to enable the incorporation of video standards such as H264 for video encoding, Real Time Transport Protocol (RTP) for transmission and Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) for session establishment in the LOSA ecosystem.
Roderick Hodgson, Head of R&D at SQR Systems comments: “The LOSA field trials demonstrate that by integrating different and often competing solutions into a common standard, we can move away from the islands of communication that have traditionally typified military systems to a more ubiquitous approach that can be deployed across the entire battlefield. The demonstration proved the value of open standards, which is a principle to which SQR Systems are fully committed.”
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Defence added: “The Land Open Systems Architecture (LOSA) is the agreed approach to open systems in the Land environment to support and enable the delivery of the intent of Army future plans. These field activities are a vital aspect in the development and verification of the standards prior to implementation in the equipment programme. This year has shown how a variety of defence suppliers can work together via open standards to deliver real operational benefit and agility.”