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AFCEA 2019: steep Brings Breadth of Solutions to C4I Challenges

Communications, Access Control and Augmented Reality

steep GmbH, an integrator of communications, remote detection and a broad range of other C4I-related devices and systems, has grown to being a 750-employee company spread across over 30 locations. Its name derives from aspects of its broad service portfolio: Service, Training, Engineering, Energy, Products.

At AFCEA 2019 the company is showcasing a broad spectrum of solutions. The Bundeswehr’s call for tender for deployable cellular networks was scheduled for February 2019 and has now been postponed for several months – but steep has already presented its solution. The deployable network provides a self-supporting, localised network infrastructure for deployed units. In addition to providing network access for users and a local supply, it assures all features of a convergent network in line with established standards and, by doing so, enables operation of all applications (for example, central services or command and expert information systems) on a standardised network. The system consists of a Tetra base station (TetraNode from Rohill), and an independent LTE base station from Nokia. All subsystems are combined over an IP connection into one system. Setup takes about 30 mins, and the network is active within five mins of being switched on. The range for LTE (at 150 mbps) is up to 50 km and for Tetra up to 25 km. Part of the system is a power supply unit, connected to a generator and a CLION modular air-conditioning system. The system stands on a leveling pallet and is IP67 protected. Each system can host up to 1,000 active users, while 5,000 can be registered at the same time.

Another solution on display was data goggles with an Augmented Reality (AR) component. Used for remote maintenance, or to support personnel abroad by specialists from home, the glasses can display images and information and users can exchange audio and video with each other. At the same time, everything is controlled via a central system (ticket administration), documented (with photos and videos) and stored as a service case. QR codes on any device can be read through the glasses, which can then automatically call up all available information and help. Several operators can be integrated at the same time.

steep’s solution for stationary remote detection has been under contract with the Bundeswehr since 2013, with one system (MeS) currently operational in Afghanistan (MeS) and one in Mali, as protection measures for the camps.

These are container-based solutions with various security areas. In Afghanistan, the solution consists of two control lines and eight containers, in use since 2014. Approximately 100,000 individual checks are carried out here automatically every year. Each control line consists of three security sectors (controls) and a fourth for suspect personnel. Remote controlled luggage and body checking is achieved using millimeter-wave and X-ray scanners.

Data on suspects in Sector 4 is automatically archived for six months, while other areas, monitored by cameras, have their recordings deleted, as legally required, within 24 hours. The check lines are located in front of or outside the military camps, while the control unit is located inside and connected by fibre optics. A line has a maximum capacity of 50 people/hr. Currently, in Mali, a second line is to be built, and the MeS is also to be extended, with a motor vehicle lock facility planned for both installations. The control unit has six workstations, with five operators and one interpreter in each line and communication achieved via loudspeakers.

In addition to its key services, steep has a wide spectrum of competence in disciplines such as logistics and technical documentation, materials management, EMC services, Managed Services in Partnership and facilities management, in all of which the unique customer benefit stems from the opportunity to source coordinated individual services from one supplier.

André Forkert

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