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BAE's wearable antenna delivers battlefield comms

Arms maker BAE Systems said it has developed a series of Body Wearable Antennas to keep soldiers on the battlefield connected with less load.

The Body Wearable Antenna (BWA) obviates the use of the conventional radio whip-antenna which BAE says can be cumbersome and conspicuous. The wearable antennas are woven into the fibres of a uniform transmitting voice, video data - from a helmet-mounted camera - and GPS location.

BAE says the system allows soldiers to share what they can see through their helmet-cam . In the outfit's demonstration system, the video is beamed to a wrist-mounted, touch screen smartphone.

Jon Pinto, Antennas and Electromagnetics Group Leader from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre said: "Frontline soldiers carry a huge amount of weight when on patrol. 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."

BE Systems said it is exploring the potential to incorporate body worn antennas into the suits of fire-fighters for use during search and rescue, for police patrol team members to have the GPS locations of their colleagues and in other hazardous industries such as mining, oil and gas.