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Silent Network

WB Group presented a new military communication system with a work name of “Silent Network”, designed to operate at a battalion-level. It was based on a system developed for the Polish TYTAN individual warfare system program.

. Because the new system is a scalable solution, there are no obstacles for future creation of analogous systems for larger units.

As noted by Adam Bartosiewicz, WB Group CEO, modern reconnaissance and electronic warfare systems can identify electromagnetic signatures, allowing not only for detection of the enemy location but also its size. In favorable circumstances they can even determine the number of enemy vehicles. It’s a key step to destruction of the detected unit.

The new solution presented by WB Group allows for communication, including transfer of data and images, without exposing oneself to detection. The Silent Network system is based on low-emission radio stations. Handheld radios work below 1 W, and can be installed in vehicular adapters. Average power consumption of the network node remains below 7 W, and can be additionally reduced while maintaining radio silence.

The Silent Network communication system elements / Picture: WB Group

Such low power combined with network nodes rapidly change their frequency (frequency-hopping) for a very short period of time (impulses last around 1 millisecond) significantly reduces the possibility of locating the transmitter. Those two qualities make the communication system much harder to detect, locate, and jam by modern electronic warfare measures.

Low power normally would result in a shortened range of the transmitters, but that problem is solved by placing one or more network nodes on board of large or small unmanned aerial vehicles, spreading further the data packets sent by ground network nodes and acting as mobile radio repeaters.

According to tests conducted by WB Group, a single drone flying at an altitude of 20 to 200 meters can extend effective range between nodes to 20 kilometers, and provide radio coverage for a whole battalion. The system can also use more drones and connect multiple battalions with each other. In this way we receive a quasi-satellite communication system that is operating fully under local control, can be developed at any place and time, and can be immediately switched off only to be turned back on in less than 5 to 7 seconds.

A sample screen of user interface with imaging of radio repeaters / Picture: WB Group

The new system works in any terrain allowing traditional radio communication, conferences, communication between multiple groups, selective contact with individual receivers, transmission of static images and video signals. Ground network nodes can provide reference signals for drones, which are much more vulnerable to GPS signal jamming.

Used frequencies are changed dynamically by  the system. It analyzes available bands and detects enemy jamming attempts, excluding those bands from the frequencies used for communication.

The Silent Network connected with a device called U-Gate can be used to provide an individual soldier with an augmented reality based on localization data of all the network nodes and access to C2 systems. Each connected soldier receives access to information provided by reconnaissance systems, such as recon drones and sensory systems of linked vehicles (such as FlyEye UAV or ZSSW 30 sensors mounted on Rosomak wheeled armored personnel carriers).

The network can be used to link reconnaissance drones with TOPAZ automated fire control, allowing for target selection and judging the effects of artillery fire, or directing guided munitions.

Screen showing the Silent Network interface integrated with TOPAZ integrated battlefield control system / Picture: WB Group

The communication is obviously encrypted by a dedicated module that is surrounded by additional security measures. The whole system was developed with the assumption that customers using the provided documentation will be capable of designing their own encrypting modules or rely on the producer’s support to implement national encryption algorithms.

We are aware that the safety of encryption is vital for any military force, so we enable use of encryption devices requested by our customers – noted Adam Bartosiewicz.

In addition to already noted merits, The Silent Network system has also another advantage that will be appreciated by the soldiers using it — its small mass, and low power and energy saving capabilities allow the transmitter to work for up to 48 hours using a single battery.

Vehicle-mounted version of the network node can be easily integrated with the vehicle-based network using Ethernet connection, and supports VoIP protocols. Thanks to its small size and mass (150 × 110 × 180 mm and approximately 3 kilograms), and low energy consumption (6–12 W) it can be easily installed in a variety of vehicles, from small 4×4 off-road cars to main battle tanks.


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