US Army Touts Its “Agile” Approach to the Tactical Network



By Dean ~ August 30th, 2011. Filed under: SDR & SCA.

The best thing about working with software defined radio, JTRS in particular, is knowing that our efforts have real world benefits that actually matter.  Key among these benefits is supporting an integrated communications infrastructure for the Armed Forces and first responders.  That’s why it gives me warm & fuzzy feelings to read about how pleased the U.S. Army is with their new “agile” approach to developing their Tactical Network.

Logo of the JPEO JTRS

JPEO JTRS

This agility, indeed the fact that this highly interoperable network even functions, is largely due to the years of effort that a host of agencies, companies and teams have put into defining the Software Communications Architecture (SCA) and building the Joint Tactical Radio System on it.

Officials clearly recognize the value of engaging industry engineers at all development stages of these systems.  According to Col. John Morrison, director of the Army G-3/5/7 LandWarNet-Battle Command Directorate:

… industry will be “absolutely critical” as the Army moves forward with the agile process, the quick-reaction acquisition methodology to address capability gaps and insert new technologies into the overall network.

This partnership between the the Department of Defense and industry is accelerating the development and deployment of these incredibly complex systems:

The network architecture includes terrestrial satellite systems, vehicle-mounted networking radios that pass data as well as voice communications, an aerial tier of radios attached to Unmanned Aerial Systems, or UAS, and a commercial 3G network to evaluate smartphones. In October [Network Integrated Evaluation 12.1], networking capabilities will be operating within a variety of relevant operational scenarios, including close air support with UAS, medical evacuation helicopters, and convoy operations, officials said.

If you’re still reading my posts, I probably don’t need to remind you that Performance Engineering with rich executable models is a critical discipline in eliminating the cacophony of these disparate communication nodes and making sure that they work as promised when deployed to the battlefield.

Photo of Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, were encamped near a "mountain village" to evaluate networked capabilities in realistic terrain during the Army's first Network Integration Exercise in June-July at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, were encamped near a "mountain village" to evaluate networked capabilities in realistic terrain during the Army's first Network Integration Exercise in June-July at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Photo Credit: Claire Heininger Schwerin, PEO C3T


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