Army assesses "self-healing" waveform for platoon-level communications
June 30, 2010
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. Aca,!" The U.S. Army concluded its three-week assessment of a waveform that could help separated squads maintain communications despite terrain and obstructions, during its annual integrated capabilities event at Fort Dix on June 25.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering CommandAca,!a,,cs communications-electronics center conducted a 36 node assessment of the Soldier Radio Waveform in a relevant field environment. This was done to gauge the waveformAca,!a,,cs ability to support platoon-level data and voice traffic from the rifleman up to the squad leader.
When squads spread out, they can potentially loose communications due to obstructions in the terrain. SRW is Aca,!A"excitingAca,!A? because the network Aca,!A"self healsAca,!A? its fragmented connectivity by leveraging other squad radios using the waveform, said Eric Williams, assessment lead for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance On-the-Move Aca,!" or C4ISR OTM.
Aca,!A"This waveform looks for other radios from the same squad and hops back through these nodes. So if the furtherest man out canAca,!a,,ct talk directly to the squad leader, this waveform will actually use the other radios to create a path back, thus enabling squad communication,Aca,!A? Williams said.
The assessment focused on the program of record SRW waveform from the Joint Tactical Radio System, Joint Product Executive Office information repository, said Glenn Briceno, chief architect for C4ISR OTM.
Aca,!A"This was a good opportunity to see if it could grow to support a large number of nodes and meet the stated requirements. If it turns out that the waveform has no issues, weAca,!a,,cll see if there are any bugs on the hardware side that need to be flushed out so we can get the best possible solution to Soldiers in the field,Aca,!A? Briceno said.
The assessment used 36 nodes to represent a typical platoon-sized element of four squads. Live dismounts in the field interacted with each other and stationary nodes, passing scripted voice and situational awareness traffic from the squad leader down to the lowest level rifleman and back, Briceno said.
C4ISR OTM is an R&D program within the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center that evaluates technical applications and maturity for emerging networking, sensors and C4ISR-enabling platforms on a year-round basis.
Its annual C4ISR system-of-systems, integrated capabilities event, C4ISR OTM Event 2010, is aligned with the Army Network Modernization strategy and explores leap-ahead capabilities that can augment and enhance the foundation of network modernization while identifying technology acceleration opportunities into the Current Force.
The 36 node SRW assessment is one of approximately 25 critical activities that directly support the C4ISR OTM E10 campaign goals, said Jason Sypniewski, chief of the C4ISR OTM Integrated Event Design and Analysis branch.
Aca,!A"The results of this activity support the JTRS program by investigating how we can build an SRW network to meet its scalability requirements in the field,Aca,!A? Sypniewski said.
C4ISR OTM will build on the assessment results by integrating these efforts with the E10 architecture in order to support the capability assessments and other SRW-related tests for this year, Briceno said.
Aca,!A"The next phase will be to take the network weAca,!a,,cve stood up and integrate it with other system-of-systems that are in line with the Capability Sets 2013-2014 and the Future Force architecture. WeAca,!a,,cre looking at integrating this JTRS waveform with a surrogate Warfighter Information Network-Tactical type element that will notionally flush out architectures for Stryker Brigade Combat Team and a Heavy Brigade Combat Team-based force structure,Aca,!A? Briceno said.
C4ISR OTM supports milestone decisions for programs of record, helps to mitigate risk for Army Technology Objectives, facilitates R&D technology transition to programs of record and aids in developing those technologies through technical readiness levels, Sypniewski said.
During C4ISR OTM E09, the Army was able to evaluate the complete future force network stack. This marked the first time that the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), the Highband Network Waveform (HNW) and Net Centric Waveform (NCW), were integrated with respective Battle Command and ISR assets and assessed as one network.
Aca,!A"ThereAca,!a,,cs no pressure on the technology providers when they bring a capability here because this isnAca,!a,,ct a pass-or-fail venue: this is a test, assess, analyze and fix type environment, Aca,!A"Sypniewski said.
Aca,!A"We build a little, test a little and see if we can break it because thatAca,!a,,cs critical information in terms of the capabilityAca,!a,,cs development. Once we get to that breaking point, we start taking steps back to assess what went wrong, we work with the developer to fix it and we test it again,Aca,!A? Sypniewski said.
E10, which began June 1, is scheduled to continue execution through Sept. 15, at Fort Dix, N.J. Upon its completion, C4ISR OTM will begin assembling key results and lessons learned for its final report, which is a formal deliverable to a wider Army and Department of Defense audience.
To learn more about C4ISR OTM, visit http://bit.ly/agO7nR or contact CERDEC Public Affairs, (732) 427-1594. Be sure to follow CERDEC on Twitter and Facebook for more information concerning events taking place throughout E10.