BY SKYLER FRINK
MARLBOROUGH, MASS.—The Raytheon Co. One Force communications solution linked soldier smartphones and tablet computers during the U.S. Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga. The experiment transmitted data, voice, and video simultaneously over handheld commercial devices via 3G and military tactical radios without any interruptions in service, Raytheon officials say.
Soldiers were able to see everyone’s position in the group, talk over the networks, exchange data messages, and view live streaming video from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They also were able to collaborate on devices using white boarding: Pictures drawn on one smartphone or tablet were broadcast to other devices in the network, even in dense foliage.
|Raytheon demonstrated smartphone use in a U.S. Army battlefield scenario.|
The key enabler for the network was Raytheon’s Mobile Ad-hoc Interoperable Network GATEway (MAINGATE), company officials say. With more than eight years of development and testing in many tactical environments, including Afghanistan, MAINGATE served as the tactical bridge among groups, enabling soldiers to communicate—even when separated by trees and other obstacles.
MAINGATE uses the Next Generation Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) Waveform, which functions in challenging radio-frequency conditions. OCEUS Networks provided the 3G mobile base stations that were integrated with MAINGATE. MAINGATE and OCEUS Networks’ QuicLINK and Xiphos are also undergoing tests at Fort Bliss, Texas.