CHELMSFORD, England, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A series of body-wearable antennas that reduce soldier carry load while enabling a high level of battlefield connectivity have been developed by BAE Systems-UK.
The Body Wearable Antenna allows soldiers to communicate without conventional radio whip antennas, which can be cumbersome and conspicuous.
The antennas are woven into the fibers of the uniform.
BAE said a concept demonstrator has been developed to showcase the capability of the technology, which transmits voice, video data from a helmet-mounted camera and Global Positioning System location via the same antenna.
The demonstration system links with a wrist-mounted, commercially available touchscreen smartphone and utilizes sensors to provide an augmented operational picture, allowing the team to tag objects, such as potential hazards, which appear highlighted on the phone's video image.
"Frontline soldiers carry a huge amount of weight when on patrol," said Jon Pinto, Antennas and Electromagnetics Group leader from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Center. "Research into body-wearable antennas has shown we could reduce this burden and in the future give forces improved communication capabilities and a significant advantage on the battlefield."
BAE said the applications for the technology reach far beyond the defense industry. It is exploring incorporation of body-worn antennas into the suits of firefighters for use during search and rescue, for police to have GPS locations of colleagues and in other hazardous industries such as mining, oil and natural gas.