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Redesigning military communication systems

Partnership with industry results in major technological advancements

Modern communication systems involve the transmission and reception of huge volumes of data. In particular, information sent on military communication systems can be a life-or-death matter, and it is especially important that the data remains uncorrupted. This is particularly problematic in combat situations, where the infrastructure has to be rapidly deployed and there are often large numbers of users in close proximity to each other. Historical communication systems are unable to cope with the sheer volume of data required by modern armed forces.

Researchers at the University of South Wales worked closely with industrial partners, including BAE Systems and QinetiQ, to develop intelligent algorithms that efficiently utilise radio broadcast frequencies while simultaneously minimizing interference between users. These algorithms have been embedded into software found in approximately 50000 radio sets used by the British Army, Navy and Air forces and have been fitted to 15000 vehicles. Furthermore, elements of this system are currently being rolled out across the Royal Netherlands Navy. The new communication systems (Bowman and Falcon) represent a major advancement over previous systems through their increased security, data capability, reliability and resilience against electronic warfare attack.

“Bowman is giving us a real edge on operations. The situational awareness Bowman delivers means that decisions are better informed; that we are more agile and more effective; and that soldiers are better able to their job in often difficult circumstances. Bowman is proving its worth on operations.” Assistant Chief of Staff, Capability Development

“[Bowman is] a revelation – much much better than anything we’ve had before”. Lt Col Ben Edwards, CO The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

*Image courtesy of the Ministry of Defence under the Open Government Licence

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