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Activity title

Military Secure Local Wireless

Activity Reference

IST-ET-103 (COM)


Information Systems Technology

Security Classification




Activity type


Start date


End date



5G, Local Networks, Security, Urban, Wireless


This ET is to examine the technologies and approaches for providing military secure local area wireless communications for team working, allowing local mobility and simplicity of deployment and management of local networks. The need is for very low size, weight and power, secure communications with low probability of detection/ low probability of intercept much beyond the communications range. The communications must be capable of providing a wide range of user services, including voice and data up to high rate video. It should be capable of providing staff communications around an HQ to enable mobility around an HQ and to support rapid set up and tear down of an HQ, including a tactical HQ made up of vehicles at the halt. The management and configuration of these systems should be very simple and straightforward, able to be undertaken quickly without specialist support or training. The system must support laptop/tablet networking, voice and video networking, and include the use of mobile headsets and handsets. Other potential applications are for local communications for dismounted soldier teams across all their activities and operational scenarios, ships staff mobility, including flight deck and damage control teams, boarding teams and for teams embarked upon transport aircraft. The communications range envisaged are estimated as: - 200 - 500 meters in open field, forest and urban locations - Up to 20 meters for within buildings and platforms The mobile element of any technology should be capable of operation up to 24 hours for the dismounted user (considered as the most demanding), without battery change. This task will examine Emerging Technology to meet a variety of user roles that demand local mobile communications that are currently constrained by the lack of such systems or operate with some risk owing to the poor security (Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability) and high probability of detection of the current systems. The civil developments of 5G and 60GHz technologies and their low SWAP drives are directly relevant, but other IoT and military technologies should also be assessed.


• Identify candidate technologies and how they may be utilized to meet these needs, supported by assessments of technical maturity, roadmaps and an assessment of the capability offered and any limitations. • Propose how the technologies may be investigated further and any experimental opportunities against the respective roadmaps. • Propose how any remaining shortfalls in the capabilities offered by the technologies may be addressed in the future. • Identify any further opportunities that the technologies may offer to NATO nations.


Identify or propose follow on work plans to establish: • The useable communications and services supported for a range of scenarios, including: • Within a range of buildings, • Urban street performance for a range of typical cities, towns, and villages • Open country – fields, desert and littoral • Forests, jungle • Maritime • Vehicles in convoy and at the halt • Within Platforms (troop vehicles, ships, transport aircraft) • Low Probability of Intercept and Low Probability of Detection characteristics of the technology • Potential suitable security (confidentiality, integrity and availability) solutions • Size, Weight and Power (including battery life for typical usage) • Complexity of fielding (including set up/tear down, configuration and change management)

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