The recent DSEI 2023 exhibition that took place from 12th to 15th September in London was a rousing success for Blu Wireless, both in terms of launching our PhantomBlu product, but also in terms of having the opportunity to meet with several European and Asian prospects, customers and potential business partners.
What was truly surprising to me was the scale and scope of the show. More than 2,800 defence and security suppliers were featured, and the show highlighted the importance of integration across air, cyber, electromagnetic activities, land, sea and space. The ExCel London facilities were first class and the event ran exceptionally smoothly.
Drones central to modern defence
A dominating theme at DSEI this year was drone warfare. Drones are becoming increasingly commonplace as a tactical means of reconnaissance and data gathering. Providing huge amounts of information, high-resolution imagery and data with relatively small budgets compared to manned reconnaissance vehicles, drones are now an important part of a military’s order of battle.
Unmanned vehicles, both in the air and underwater, can undertake scouting missions as well as be used as part of a broader fleet to defend against or attack adversaries and so are fast becoming a go-to tactic for surprise or deception. Discussions around how to connect drones to the battlefield were prevalent at DSEI, coupled with how to continue to lower the electromagnetic signature of platforms to enable greater use with minimal detection and no forewarning.
The Blu Wireless IEEE 5G mmWave technology which brings strong benefits to connectivity for use with drones was well received and our demo at the stand garnered laudatory feedback from the defence community. 5G mmWave connectivity provides a higher bandwidth solution than generally possible before, with broadband speeds of 100s of Mbits per second and even gigabits per second, depending on range.
The ability to transfer huge amounts of data swiftly means missions can be extended to collate more data over longer periods of time because that data can be transferred quickly and in full, enabling real-time decision making at a central location as all the information is available quickly.
Launch of PhantomBlu
Video: AR demonstration of PhantomBlu in action in naval scenario
With these prevailing themes in mind, we selected DSEI as the most fitting event in which to introduce our flagship product, PhantomBlu, to the European and Rest of World (RoW) defence and security industry.
PhantomBlu is the pinnacle of our engineering efforts and is the first fully integrated LPD V-Band radio node which delivers 360° beamformed communications coverage. Housed in a single hardware platform that is extremely easy to set up and operate, PhantomBlu is the first tactical radio with this level of integration on the market. Previously, high bandwidth sensor data and video overwhelmed networking at the tactical edge, making anything other than voice and image files communication between command posts and military personnel on the battlefield difficult.
A ground-breaking feature of PhantomBlu is that it provides ultra-fast connectivity coupled with a selectable LPD mode. This is because it leverages the V-band, an unlicensed mmWave radio frequency band at 57-71 GHz which ensures LPD by its very physics. At DSEI, we showcased the dynamic mesh networking capabilities of PhantomBlu which enables point-to-point and multipoint connectivity, daisy-chaining reach Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) and multi-gigabit data rates on land and at sea.
New chapter for European defence
The war in Ukraine and global geopolitical changes are creating new security challenges. It was good to discuss these with peers and industry leaders at DSEI, and hear about their challenges when it comes to connectivity. Overall, both from a Blu Wireless business perspective, and from an industry-wide perspective, DSEI was an exceptional event. One of the largest iterations of DSEI to date coupled with the intelligent technology and solutions on display feels like a huge step forward and a new chapter for European defence.