Raytheon BBN Technologies demonstrates first-of-its-kind Disruption-Tolerant Military network
Raytheon BBN Technologies demonstrated the successful transmission of voice and data across a wireless mobile ad hoc network that was in a constant state of flux, mimicking the communications challenges that military networks confront in tactical use.
These results mark milestone achievements for the Wireless Network After Next (WNaN) program, which is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Raytheon BBN Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company.
"The results prove that WNaN works in the field with affordable, commercially available radios," said Jason Redi, WNaN principal investigator, Raytheon BBN Technologies. "With these results, we are one step closer to getting this much needed, first-of-its-kind technology to the battlefield and putting a reliable network in the hands of every warfighter."
The WNaN network operates on low-cost radio hardware to establish a wireless network that adapts to changing conditions and enables warfighters to communicate on the battlefield despite frequent disruptions and high demand. Raytheon BBN Technology network software operates in concert with radio hardware developed by COBHAM.
Specific achievements during the field experiment included:
- 10 WNaN mobile handheld radios that participated in multiple, simultaneous call groups and delivered situational awareness data despite communications disruptions.
- Proof of the network's ability to avoid interference from hostile signals and continue operation even when large numbers of warfighters try to use the channel at once.
- Software that automatically assigns the best frequencies for use by each device as the warfighters move and the mission needs change.
- Techniques that allow the network to scale to hundreds of nodes in a single group without the need for a fixed network infrastructure; and
- Capability to relay voice transparently over more than four different network radios so that soldiers can communicate reliably regardless of their location on the battlefield.
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