EQUIPPING BOMB DISPOSAL OPERATORS WITH THE LATEST COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
NP Aerospace, the global armour technology manufacturer and vehicle integrator, required a radio system to integrate with their newly launched 4030 ELITE bomb disposal suit and helmet to meet the demands of today’s explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) operators. The unique requirements of the product meant that there were limited off-the-shelf-solutions available. They approached JUMA Communications to supply them with a bespoke solution, which would accommodate their specific needs.
Joe English, Lead EOD Engineer at NP Aerospace said, “On launching the new bomb disposal suit to a range of global customers, it was clear that there was a significant demand for the latest communications technologies. EOD operators are looking for systems that can offer full situational awareness with clear and instant communication in high noise environments and optimum hearing protection. We needed to be able to offer a solution that would easily integrate into our new 4030 ELITE suit.
“The reason why we approached JUMA Communications with this brief was that we knew that they were not just product suppliers, they have a technical engineering team who can create customised solutions within a tight timeframe.”
NP Aerospace’s brief was that bomb disposal operators needed:
• To operate hands-free in full duplex with optimum situational awareness.
• The ability to hear ambient sound, whilst still offering the user a high level of hearing protection.
• To have a Voice Projection Unit (VPU) to enable them to communicate with others around them.
The JUMA Communications technicians cleverly created a customised solution by deploying industry leading products from OTTO and Vokkero, to create a customised solution meeting all of NP Aerospace’s unique requirements.
Richard Cheung, Sales and Marketing Director at JUMA Communications, explains, “We combined the Vokkero Guardian, utilising its full duplex radio terminal with the OTTO lightweight Hurricane III headset, which offered the necessary hearing protection and a noise-cancelling microphone.
“For us, the most technically challenging aspect was integrating a VPU with the headset. We accomplished this by repurposing an OTTO REVO II waterproof speaker microphone. When all three elements are connected, they allow the user the flexibility to talk in full duplex with other users on the Vokkero network. Should a situation arise where users need to talk to those around them, they can simply re-route the audio into the VPU’s external speaker.”
Pete Neale, Channel Manager at NP Aerospace, adds, “The great thing about the Vokkero and OTTO system created by Juma Communications is that it offers full situational awareness, a requirement we are seeing in many tenders. It feeds low level ambient noise into the headset and blocks damaging high decibel noise, whilst allowing EOD operators to communicate without removing the helmet.
“The system is also very cost effective for procurement teams. The technology offers significant benefits for military and law enforcement operators who use NP Aerospace’s ballistic helmets. We are working with Juma Communications further to expand the range of communications systems in this area.”
The Technology Explained
The Vokkero Guardian digitally encrypted radio system allows users to communicate in full duplex (without the need to press and hold “push to talk” buttons) over a range of up to 1.2km. The patented noise filter means users can communicate clearly even in harsh environments where ambient sound levels are extremely high. The handset is lightweight (190g inc. battery) and offers an operating time of up to 12 hours on a fully charged battery. The system is quick and easy to setup with no base station requirements, or complicated programming.
OTTO Hurricane III
The lightweight OTTO Hurricane III has noise-reducing earpieces and filters for situational awareness and hearing protection. Loud noises are dampened to safe levels whilst allowing normal speech to be heard, clearly. Filters can be open and closed according to the NRR rating required. The headset has a connector for use with the full duplex radio system. For certain applications where VPU and electronic active listening functions are required, the Revo II product can be added into this system.
OTTO Revo II
The IP68 rated Revo II has been re-purposed to operate as a Voice Projection Unit (VPU) when connected to the Hurricane III headset worn inside the NP Aerospace helmet. By pressing and holding the button on the side of the Revo II, the user can speak and broadcast their commands to surrounding personnel through the loudspeaker. The Revo II microphone has been enhanced to pick up ambient sound, electronically limit it, and then pass it into the Hurricane III earpieces. This allows the user to have situational awareness as well as being able to communicate on the Vokkero network.
To learn more about JUMA Communications, visit www.jumacommunications.com