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Ushering in a new era of tactical communications: Introducing ORION Gen 6

October 25 2023

In a time where efficient and secure communication is crucial for successful military operations, defense organizations are constantly searching for advanced tactical communication solutions that can address the evolving challenges they face. These organizations recognize that outdated and unreliable communication systems not only hinder mission objectives but also jeopardize the safety and well-being of their personnel. By investing in state-of-the-art tactical communication solutions, military forces can ensure critical information flows seamlessly across all domains, enabling them to stay one step ahead of near peer adversaries and accomplish their objectives with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

One such breakthrough in the field is the ORION Gen 6 family of systems from Ultra Intelligence and Communications (Ultra I&C).

Designed to meet the unique needs of the defense industry, ORION Gen 6 promises to enhance tactical communications capabilities and provide military forces with enhanced resources in the field. In this blog, we will explore the cutting-edge features and capabilities of ORION Gen 6, and how it will transform the military communications landscape.

Unifying the network

It is a stated U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) objective that all military branches must introduce mechanisms, policies, and technology to ensure interoperability across all domains and allied partners. The Unified Network approach is intended to streamline the overall network, including hardware, software, and infrastructure to extend the range of connectivity and increase the speed of operations.

The ORION Gen 6 product line is ideally suited to enable the CJADC2 and Project Convergence vision for a unified network. By combining resilient, mobile and aerial extensions to TRILOS with multi-MANET interoperability at the edge, this platform is ideal for use across all services with varying requirements. Ultra-small form factor radios such as the ORION radio family can be deployed virtually anywhere to provide persistent connectivity at the tactical edge on a vehicle, ship, or tethered drone. Ultra I&C is uniquely positioned to deliver all-domain connectivity, ensure allied interoperability and provide a common data fabric for enhanced situational awareness.

Interoperability with existing systems and networks

With the involvement of multiple military branches, allied forces, and partner nations, seamless integration and effective coordination become imperative. However, interoperability challenges arise due to differences in communication systems and outdated equipment utilized by different units. This can hinder data sharing, command and control, and joint operations. Lack of interoperability can result in miscommunication, delays in decision making, and compromised effectiveness on the battlefield. Addressing these challenges requires standardized communication protocols, compatible equipment, and interoperable systems that enable seamless information exchange and collaboration between different units as they evolve.

ORION Gen 6 is designed with interoperability in mind. It can seamlessly integrate with existing tactical communication systems including TRILOS, USMC LRS and others, allowing for easier introduction of new communications capability such as the ORION Gen 6. This will help reduce overall cost of ownership via a family of systems approach, common GUI across all radios, and centralized, consistent training programs.

Solving Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) challenges

In the field of military operations, connectivity issues pose significant challenges for military units. These issues can range from unreliable or inconsistent communication channels to difficulties in interoperability between different devices and platforms. In remote or hostile environments, where rapid and effective communication is crucial, the lack of reliable connectivity can hinder situational awareness and coordination efforts.

ORION Gen 6 revolutionizes connectivity with its unparalleled networking capabilities. This advanced family of radios seamlessly integrates with various platforms, elevating the standards of reliable by extending communication channels and increasing deployment speed. ORION Gen 6 was developed to provide aerial-extension connectivity when natural or manmade obstacles prevent the reliable use of traditional mast mounted or fixed site Line-of-Sight (LOS) communication systems. By mounting the radio on a Vertical Height Antenna (VHA) drone, the system provides a reliable and secure broadband connectivity overlay across a wide range of operational areas for consumers of the data fabric. VHAs can be deployed quickly, can go much higher than a standard mast and, when combined with a powerful tactical radio, can solve many beyond-line-of-sight connectivity issues.

Improving command post survivability and mobility

Deploying and scaling military resources, such as equipment and systems, must be done effectively to adapt to changing operational requirements. The logistics of rapidly deploying units to various locations while ensuring coordination and synchronization can be a complex task. Scalability challenges can also arise when military units need to quickly adjust their capabilities to meet evolving mission objectives. Successfully addressing these deployment and scalability issues is vital for military units to maintain flexibility, agility, and effectiveness in the face of dynamically changing operational environments and mission demands.

The ORION Gen 6 product line from Ultra I&C is lighter, more powerful, and smaller than all previous generation Ultra radios. The ORION Gen 6 excels in its ability to deploy and scale according to mission requirements. Designed to be lightweight and portable, these radio systems allow for quick setup and dismantling, providing essential communication infrastructure in even the most remote environments. Using VHAs and other installation methods, command post links can be setup in minutes, as opposed to hours, improving mobility and survivability.

Reinforcing resiliency and security

In an increasingly interconnected world, military networks and systems face constant threats from adversaries seeking to compromise sensitive information or disrupt operations. Cyberattacks, espionage, and infiltration attempts pose significant risks, requiring robust security measures to safeguard critical data, communications, and infrastructure. Military units must implement stringent security protocols to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and information leakage. Tactical radios and military networks must stay ahead of the threats by incorporating industry leading resiliency capabilities. Low Probability of Detection (LPD) / Low Probability of Interception (LPI) is a top priority in the realm of tactical communications.

The ORION Gen 6 product line incorporates a diverse set of LPI/LPD features to ensure resiliency in contested and congested environments, including Adaptive Power Control, Automatic Frequency Control and UltraHop™ Adaptive Frequency Hopping. This innovative product line is designed to incorporate newer AI/ML technologies to offer even better levels of resiliency including Integrated Spectrum Monitoring and Classification. The product line will also incorporate leading encryption and will be designed to meet highest cybersecurity standards.

The ORION Gen 6 family of systems is a game-changer in the realm of tactical communications. By integrating progressive technology, security measures, and intuitive command and control capabilities, ORION Gen 6 provides defense organizations with the most capable multi-channel, multi-waveform family of tactical radios on the market today for land, aerial and naval applications. With its unmatched connectivity options, next-level security features, and seamless integration with currently fielded U.S. Army TRILOS and U.S Marine Corps LRS systems, ORION Gen 6 is poised to revolutionize the way military forces communicate and conduct operations in the defense industry.

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