24 November 2021
Sovereign Mesh Radio Demonstration
South Australian based C4 EDGE partner, Solinnov, has successfully demonstrated the mesh capability of its BlueBottle multi-mission software-defined radio, capable of RF signal detection and countermeasure generation, based on a novel flexible architecture.
Solinnov’s BlueM infrastructureless network was used to demonstrate a Blue Force Tracking scenario and the geolocation of emitters at an event held last week at Para Hills; attended by representatives from Army Headquarters (Land C4), the Defence Science and Technology Group, electronic warfare company DEWC, and fellow C4 EDGE partners Shoal Group and Acacia Systems.
Traditionally, cellular 4G would be used for networking to demonstrate geolocation capability but that has limitations as the infrastructure is not always readily available. A BlueM network is a self-forming and self-healing network made up of BlueBottle radios, each one integrated with a transmit-receive module and an antenna, using Solinnov’s Halite orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing waveform.
Sanka Piyaratna, CEO and Managing Director for Solinnov said, “We built the prototype BlueM network with help from the C4 EDGE program within the space of a year. We were able to demonstrate the sovereign capability in building such networks from the first principles and in an agile manner. We need to think bigger as a country, we have smart people and a very good education system. If we think big, we can create world-leading Defence technologies for Australia and our allies.”
Matt Jones, CEO for EOS Defence Systems (Australia) said, “Solinnov is one of Australia’s most innovative communications companies. Their ability to design and implement their Halite waveform offering infrastructureless mesh radio communications, dispel the myth that Australian industry does not have the capability to develop sovereign waveforms in this country.”
“We expect this technological innovation, successfully demonstrated by Solinnov in SA, to be just the first of many technology spin-offs of the ground-breaking C4 EDGE program, sponsored by the Australian Army”, Jones said.
Solinnov plans to continue to enhance the network to be immune to electronic warfare, making it harder to detect, geolocate and jam. There are also plans to extend the capability to become an adaptive radio that optimises to the operating environment.
The C4 EDGE program is an Australian Army sponsored sovereign industry initiative involving more than 20 Australian businesses across the country. Initiated by Army in 2019 to understand the breadth of local C4 industry capability, the program has progressed to the design, development and manufacture of a sovereign Battlegroup and Below Battlefield Command System prototype for demonstration in the coming months.
Solinnov recently secured a $1.4 million contract with the Defence Innovation Hub to develop a portable radio frequency monitoring solution through the development of machine learning technology to identify, classify and locate radio frequency emitters in complex operating environments.