AUTONOMOUS GROUND SENSOR
NAL Research participated in an unattended ground sensor program by implementing the Iridium data communication solution to meet shortfalls in the relay of time sensitive information. The package includes sensors, an aerodynamic delivery body, a ground-brake subsystem and NAL Research’s Iridium data modem to provide real-time, two-way global communications capability. The modified NAL Research’s Iridium data modems withstood the impact of an air launched at 10,000 feet and continued to relay sensor data after hitting the ground.
NAL Research’s 9601-DGS satellite tracker was used for the first time to monitor a vehicle during the 2006 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Race down in the Mexico Baja Peninsula. It is inarguably the world’s most intense off-road race known as the “roughest run under the sun.” The 9601-DGS was mounted on a vehicle’s exterior frame and transmitted back real-time location information to a command/control center every ten seconds during the entire grueling 1,000 mile race. The 9601-DGS survived 17 hours of constant pounding over rough and remote terrain.
LIGHT ARMOR VEHICLES
NAL Research’s 9601-DGSM satellite trackers are used to monitor fleets of light armor vehicles by the Department of Defense. They are installed inside each vehicle to relay real-time, encrypted location information to mobile and fixed command and control centers. The tracker can also be removed and used as a personal emergency beacon.
POLAR RESEARCH PROGRAM
The “Tumbleweed Rover”, a NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) initiative, “rolled” out of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on January 24, 2004, completing its roll across Antarctica’s polar plateau roughly eight days later. Along the way, the beach-ball-shaped device, roughly six feet in diameter, used the NAL Research’s Iridium data modem with GPS module to send information about its position, the surrounding air temperature, pressure, humidity and light intensity to a JPL ground station. The Tumbleweed’s success was evident throughout its 40-mile, wind-driven trek across Antarctica, despite some of the most trying conditions on planet Earth. The ultra-durable ball reached speeds of 10 miles per hour over the Antarctic ice cap, and traveled at an average speed of about 3.7 miles per hour.
RFID DEPLOYMENT KIT
The SAVI Portable Deployment Kits (PDKs) are used across the U.S. Marine Corps to fill gaps in the current fixed RFID Infrastructure as part of the Marine Corps Total Asset/In-Transit Visibility (ITV) effort. The PDK is a mobile checkpoint solution that integrates several automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) technologies, including bar codes, active RFID and NAL Research’s A3LA-DG modem, all in a carrying case that can easily be transported by a single person and powered by a vehicle’s battery. The system collects and processes data from active RFID tags on equipment pallets and containers, then transmits it through the Iridium network to the Department of Defense ITV network server.
TACTICAL MEDICAL COORDINATING SYSTEM
Tactical Medical Coordinating System (TacMedCS) is an electronic medical management system allowing warfighters to send casualties into a shared database. The casualty information is input into TacMedCS using handheld scanners with an integrated NAL Research’s A3LA modem to read RF enabled dog tags and securely transmit via the Iridium network.
TACTICAL METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVING
The Tactical Meteorological Observing System (AN/TMQ-53 TMOS) is a collection of U.S. Air Force weather sensors connected to a NAL Research’s custom-designed A3LA-IU Iridium modem. Its modular design allows deployment as a stand-alone suite of sensors. For the first time, field units have constant, up-to-date weather information to support warfighters. The Iridium-based solution ensures the availability of timely weather observations from any location on Earth. All levels of command can access the weather database through a common network.
UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLE
The DARPA Grand Challenge was a field test designed to stimulate research and development of autonomous ground vehicle technology for future military applications. During the race, each vehicle was required to travel approximately 175 miles over rugged desert terrain using only onboard sensors and navigation equipment to find and follow the route and avoid obstacles. NAL Research equipped each of the vehicles with an Iridium tracker that transmitted its location several times per minute to the host server. This allowed each vehicle’s movements to be monitored as they negotiate the difficult terrain along the route.