SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – U.S. Air Force communications experts needed mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) radios for overseas military communications applications. They found their solution from Persistent Systems LLC in New York.
Persistent won a $5.1 million contract from Air Force Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., with more than 280 MPU5 handheld MANET radios and 10 integrated sector antennas.
MANET technology will enable the Air Force 621st and 821st Contingency Response Groups to react quickly to international situations that require the Air Force to set up overseas airstrips, amass fuel and other resources, and coordinate aircraft landings with host countries.
“Our MPU5s deliver robust, secure, broadband, line-of-sight and beyond-line-sight communications,” says Adrien Robenhymer, Persistent’s vice president of business development for Air Force and intelligence community programs. “They do so without Air Force personnel having to rely on third-party infrastructure, which is key in a contested environment.”
The Air Mobility Command personnel today employ traditional land-mobile radios that cannot share video, still imagery, or use geospatial awareness programs like Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK).
These limitations mean that first-in contingency response groups operate in a relatively slow fashion when setting up runways. Likewise, relying only on audio can lead to planning errors, experts say.
The MPU5 radio runs the Persistent Systems self-forming, self-healing Wave Relay MANET. With this adaptable, high-throughput network, users with MPU5s can share voice, video, text, GPS, and sensor data in a peer-to-peer fashion. The radio also has a Cloud Relay capability, which connects the line-of-sight MANET to beyond-line-of-sight LTE and satellite communications (SATCOM).
Working with the MPU5s, the Integrated Sector Antennas extend the Wave Relay MANET over a massive geographic area. Persistent Systems plans to deliver a full complement of MPU5 MANET radios and Integrated Sector Antennas to the Air Force.