Landwarrior Tracking Unit (CommServer) - Single PAN Solution for Mulitple Remote System's Integration

Last updated on January 27, 2011

CommServer (Charlie's Angels Shot) The CommServer unit is an integrated, soldier-worn device that allows remote RF linkage to the unit’s PAN devices (GPS, UWB Tags, Laser Engagement Systems, and other peripherals) from a network-ready base station. The range of the unit is approximately 5 miles (freespace) but can be extended with repeater configurations. It has a demonstrated battery life of 24hrs continuous operation.

The Commserver unit supports a number of peripherals including Xybernaut computers, PDAs, Tactical / Laser Engagment Systems (MILES, etc), BlueTooth, Ethernet, and bi-directonal trigger outputs. A recent update allowed the throw of a remote relay device to turn power on/off to a simulated target.

The units also provide a 1 PPS output to any peripherals requiring time sync to GPS. Each CommServer is reconfigurable as a client, repeater, or server unit allowing the capability for “mesh” networks in the field.

The base software supports a number of fidelity configuration options and full entity tracking and interface to local networks. The software also allows bi-directional communication to the remote units which can query any peripheral device.

Watch a movie of the CommServer in action during an exercise with live soldiers at Fort Benning, Georgia here.

Functional Overview

The CommServer unit is a flexible communication device that can channel data to and from a variety of remote sensory and control devices and a centrally located host computing system via a RF Data Modem. These units were designed to reduce the complexity of the apparatus for the instrumented soldier. The CommServer handles devices as simple as a GPS receiver to complex message trafficking applications running on a PDA computing device. The main benefit of the CommServer is the consolidation of communications from multiple devices down to the central host computer. Combined with an RNI gateway, the data are directly converted to standard messages for use in test, evaluation, and training data collection and AAR.

With the flexibility of the computing power provided on the unit, the CommServer can simply pass data through its channels or process the data and produce complicated behavior based on the communication traffic. Each input port is fully configurable to allow insertion of new onboard technologies into the telemetry architecture.

Enhancements in this version of the CommServer are two fold, one is the addition of a point to multi-point Bluetooth channel for connecting multiple devices to the CommServer by way of the Bluetooth Serial profile protocol and two is a object oriented configurable software model that allows various devicns to be connected to any desired port on the CommServer unit. As an example, a PDA may connect to the CommServer and have it act as straight pass-through operation; a BT GPS device may be connected and the CommServer can process the GPS NMEA data stream and output location update messages to the hosting computer. An engagement system can be remotely directed from the host computer to affect a kill status.

In this version of the CommServer, configuration is by way of a simple terminal interface and a set of ASCII commands. Configuration consists of setting the radio operating parameters, binding connected devices to CommServer interfaces (more on this later), and configuring operating parameters of each connected device.

Radio Network Operational Overview

The CommServer runs as a client in a radio network. The network consists of a Base Station and many Clients radio units. The network link is provided by Microhard MHX-910 and/or 910a radio modems in client/server modes.

The following figure illustrates the general connectivity and peripheral connections to the integrated CommServer unit.