A new personal wireless communications system for the next generation of British troops is being developed at Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT).

The helmet-mounted communication system allows individual troops to communicate real-time information including pictures, videos and texts to each other in the battlefield.

The design of the system will form the basis of a body area network (BAN), which transmits real-time data and battle tactics between soldiers over a distance of 40m.

The CSIT-developed personal wireless communication system is based on the 60GHz radio frequency waveband that provides enough signal bandwidth for soldiers to communicate in real time.

Belfast CSIT post-doctoral research member Simon Cotton said they were testing an intelligent antennae that focus beams of energy and provides information to a visor system.

The wireless communication technology is being developed by CSIT while the partner developers are working on the chipsets for the helmet visors and other parts of the overall system.

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The system will overcome previous issues seen with constantly mobile soldiers working in terrains that can interfere with the relay of messages.

It could be another ten years, however, until the system prototype enters the battlefield as part of the British Army’s future integrated soldier technology (Fist) programme.