U.S. Army Selects fSONA’s SONAbeam Optical Wireless Technology for Secure Transmission of Biometric Data at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan

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Vancouver, Canada – June 30, 2004 - fSONA Systems Corp., a leader in optical wireless technology, today announced that the U.S. Army has selected SONAbeam optical wireless technology for their biometric security network at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.

The dedicated network is used to distribute human intelligence from their proprietary system, called the Biometric Automated Toolset (BAT), to points throughout the base so that the identities of each person entering the base can be verified. Prior to the deployment of the dedicated network, the BAT data was distributed using the existing network but due to the large amounts of information gathered by the system, a dedicated network was needed for the system to work in a time-efficient manner.

Army Lieutenant Tom Mayer, who led the initiative to deploy the network found the primitive facilities at Bagram Airbase to be a challenge. The most obvious choices for such a network were not feasible in Afghanistan. Fiber or category cable LAN posed a serious risk to the installation crew due to the large areas to be covered. Radio wireless is easily deployed but the open transmission associated with these systems allows for passive eavesdropping which is undetectable and can take place miles away.

Optical wireless, on the other hand, cannot be intercepted without detection and can be deployed rapidly with little risk to the crew. In addition to their adaptive data rates and flexible mounting options, SONAbeam from fSONA was selected because of their successful transmission through the intense sandstorms that occurred in Saudi Arabia at the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“In the intervening months since the system was installed, there have been no outages of this dedicated network,” Mayer reported. “There are now four remote locations on the optical network, allowing all of them instant access and up-to-the-minute database information on all persons in the BAT system.

“This new network has not only simplified the job of the BAT system administration, but has also improved the overall force protection system immeasurably by providing robust, immediate and secure communications on this critical security network,” Mayer concluded.

Read the Military Information Technology article

About fSONA
fSONA Systems is recognized as the preferred provider of optical wireless solutions for government, enterprise and service provider markets around the globe. Leveraging leading edge advancements in 1550nm optical transmission, the SONAbeam™ family of systems, based on free-space-optics (FSO), use a globally unlicensed, wireless technology to provide speeds up to 2.5 Gbps over distances up to 7km. For more information visit or

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