By Dean ~ September 19th, 2011. Filed under: SDR & SCA.
I visited Helsinki once. Unfortunately, it was in late December. It was dark when we left the hotel, it was dark (that’s right, less than 6 hours of daylight during that time of year) when we left the office, and it rained the whole time. In spite of the darkness and dreary weather, everyone seemed almost pathologically upbeat and energetic. This, unfortunately, includes the group that partied all night long in the room adjacent to mine, but that’s another story. I’d love to go back sometime when the weather and daylight hours are a bit more conducive to seeing something.
Of course, when I think of wireless technology from Finland, my mind immediately leaps to Nokia. As one might expect, the innovative offspring of the communications pioneer are doing some extremely interesting work. That’s why I’m always keeping my eyes on news from the “Land of a Thousand Lakes.”
Recently, the announcement that the Finnish military would be adopting EB, Elektrobit’s wireless IP networking technology for tactical communications caught my attention. For those who are, like me, unfamiliar with EB:
“EB develops advanced technology and transforms it into enriching end user experiences. We specialize in demanding embedded software and hardware solutions for the automotive industry and wireless technologies.
EB Wireless Business Segment turns the next generation wireless technologies into state of the art products, services and solutions. Its extensive offering constitutes from:
- Wireless device development and infrastructure solutions
- Device offering; Device/platform development, Reference designs & technology demos and Products.
- Infrastructure offering; Mobile WiMAX basestation framework and RF variants
- R&D services
- Test tools for measuring, modeling and emulating the radio channel environments.”
The particular offering that’s interesting here is the company’s Wireless IP Network for Tactical Comm. This appears to be a “network in a box” system that can be deployed to the area of operations to create an “instant” communications infrastructure:
“The EB Tactical Wireless IP Network is a stand-alone military/authority wireless broadband network that can be deployed in any location. It is enables the formation of an independent IP network and is compatible with existing infrastructure, both wire-line and wireless. Being based on software defined radio makes the product versatile, upgradeable and easy to adapt. It enables a mesh network solution with high data rate and automatic network configuration required by battle groups on the move. The product has an excellent performance and form factor as both network node and router functionality are integrated into a single product. This tactical communications product was developed to be compatible with the SCA and ESSOR software architectures.
- Supports Mobile Ad-hoc network (MANET)
- Coverage 0-30 km depending on antenna configuration, antenna height, and frequency
- Point to point, point to multipoint and MESH network configurations
- Fully independent nodes, free network entry and exit for nodes
- Capacity shared between connected nodes
- Prioritization between nodes can be set to provide capacity to most important nodes
- Fully IP compatible”
Providing sufficient reliable bandwidth for tactical communications under extreme conditions is really the fundamental challenge for the networked battlefield. It looks like the engineers at EB are well on their way to providing a solution.