Integrated Digital Soldier System (IDSS)

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Integrated Digital Soldier System (IDSS) developed by Cobham Defence Communications (CDC) provides a fully integrated Combat Management System (CMS) for dismounted infantry units to gain full Situational Awareness (SA), digital mapping navigation and integrated command and control. The system is provided in three basic configurations – a commander system, a soldier system and a tracking system. All systems can be upgraded or downgraded in the field; a common battery type is used for all three system variants, ensuring accessibility to power, commonality of spares and increased availability during prolonged operations. The system is designed to offer mission capability of 24hrs on a single system battery charge.


The soldier data terminal (SDT) designed for the infantry unit commander weighs about 5 kg, including radios and batteries, providing navigation functions, support for blue force tracking and situational awareness features, displaying the locations of friendly and known enemy forces. The SDT also provides target identification, reporting and messaging. The Soldier Interface Unit (SIU) provides interfaces to the various sensors, power management for all peripherals and operates the GPS and Digital Magnetic Compass (DMC) subsystems. IDSS also includes the lightweight integrated harness, which can be worn as a stand alone harness or worn in conjunction with legacy load carriage equipment and body armor. The lightweight harness includes load carriage for the SDT and SIU units and communications gear, all linked through a screened cable system, electromagnetically compatible to enable the operation of multiple systems in the same location (co-siting). The system also offers a docking station for the SDT.

IDSS communications equipment supports two types of radios – including Short Range Radio (SRR) transmitting location and data to friendly users within a short range, and Long Range Radio, supporting the functionality traditionally provided with Combat Net Radio (CNR), carrying voice, and data on command and control communications. IDSS is designed to support two radio systems operating simultaneously.

In the downgraded version designed for the individual soldier weighs about 3.5 kg, including radios and batteries. Essentially it is similar to the commander’s system, but with the commander’s SDT replaced with a small wrist terminal, supporting a preselected set of functions such as navigation, reporting and target acquisition functions. Further degraded version is the tracking system, which has no visual display for the user, but still provides location information to other users within range.

New versions of Cobham’s Integrated Digital Soldier System (IDSS) were displayed at Soldier Technology 07. Cobham designed its system to work with a wide range of radio sets, both combat net and IP based communicators. The kit also includes the hand-held soldier data terminal (SDT) running the Battlehawk situational awareness and communications software, and an optional wrist worn miniature data terminal. BattleHawk provides standardized combat management features supporting units from the section leaders up to the battlegroup level. This application integrates Blue Force tracking and situational awareness features on a geographical map display, navigation planning and monitoring, report distribution, including pre-formatted, emergency messages and free format. The display is operated by touch screen menus and programmable buttons.

The system is configured to work with a number of external devices and sensors to improve combat efficiency through direct input to the system. Sensor types that can be interfaced into IDSS include laser rangefinders, unattended ground sensors (UGS), video cameras, battlefield surveillance radars, day and night sights, target designators and additional display systems. The MDT is a small wrist watch size device, displaying selective information on a small display. In addition to standard time display (watch), the MDT can also display a plan position indicator with two range scales, showing relative locations of team members and targets. The device can also show incoming text messages, or heading indication (compass rose).

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