BAE Systems has developed a novel wearable antenna system that can improve the manoeuvrability of a soldier as well as boosting communications.
The Body Wearable Antennas are woven into the fabric of a uniform, meaning that conventional radio whip-antennas can be binned.
This means greater mobility and reduced load that the soldier needs to carry, and can help provide live updates to others.
As the antennas are able to send voice and video data it will be possible, for example, for a helmet mounted camera to send a live video feed without the sender having to fiddle with any equipment.
GPS location information can also be sent for dozy officers who have lost their way.
BAE set up a demonstration system showing the possibilities of allowing a soldier to see through the eyes of another squaddie. In this system, a touchscreen panel is mounted to a soldier’s wrist to provide an ‘augmented operational picture’ which could then be tagged with objects to annihilate.
Whether Facebook access for in-battle updates will be available was not mentioned by BAE.
Another benefits is that whip-antennas cause interference should one person be lying down and the other standing up. But continuous 360 degrees coverage should put an end to that.
There are other potential uses. BAE reckons that fire fighters could make good use of the equipment, just as the police force could use it when under siege by Molotov cocktail wielding 12 year olds.
Here is the tabloid-esque infographic which you will see in the papers soon.