DSEI 2019: Optical MLC system offers secure cable-free communications for military applications
The main focus of the Link Microtek stand at this year’s DSEI exhibition is the company’s Azdec optical MLC (mobile local communications) system, which offers a totally secure, non-RF, cable-free voice comms solution for a wide variety of defence-related applications.
Link Microtek's stand at DSEI 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)
Originally developed using infra-red technology to provide secure bridge communications on board naval vessels, the Azdec system has now been adopted in other military scenarios where radio-frequency transmissions might jeopardise security. From submarines to UAV control rooms and from satellite payload test facilities to forward command centres, operators can use the Azdec system to communicate securely with one another while roaming away from their base positions, unhindered by any trailing wires.
Utilising micro-LED arrays to provide optical transmissions at a wavelength determined by the requirements of the specific application, the Azdec system delivers crystal-clear, short-range voice communications and carries a Class 1 product designation as defined by the EN 60825-1 standard, which means it presents no ocular or other health hazard to users.
The optical digital encoding technology at the heart of the system is completely immune to radio, radar and electrical noise – even severe energy pulses – and has no effect on sensitive electronic equipment, flammable atmospheres or munitions. There are no RF emissions and the signals cannot be intercepted by any conventional method, so it is impossible for anyone to jam the transmissions or eavesdrop on what is being said. Capable of providing secure multi-channel communications for areas of up to 4,000 square metres, an Azdec system typically comprises a compact base station, a number of fixed antennas, headsets, operators’ belt-mounted battery-pack/control units, and a central battery-charger unit.
Link Microtek’s stand is also highlighting the company’s latest Azdec developments: a through-water system allowing short-range underwater optical communications, a long-range system for use on ships’ heli-decks, and a secure cable-free data link capable of transmitting command signals, video, sound and other data to, say, unmanned ground vehicles involved in explosive ordnance disposal.