The Quint Networking Technology (QNT) program, supervised by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., is developing a modular network data link to establish multiband communications among manned aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), weapons, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and infantry ground forces.
QNT technology seeks to use data links to integrate tactical UAVs, infantrymen, and weapons into the future digital battlefield for network-centric warfare operations that use distributed sensor platforms to find, fix, track, and engage important stationary and moving targets in real time.
QNT systems users are weapons, air control forces on the ground, and tactical UAVs. These three are the focal points of the QNT effort with the other two elements using hardware and waveforms from established programs.
The original TTNT program began in 2001, with Rockwell Collins and four other contractors involved in the program's initial phase, in which Rockwell Collins engineers developed TTNT prototype terminals with advanced airborne mesh networking capability. Company experts demonstrated the terminal prototypes with the Air Force and U.S. Navy in flight tests in 2005.
Although pleased with the Rockwell Collins prototype terminal demonstrations, Air Force and Navy users asked the company to refine the TTNT waveform by extending it to the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Software Communications Architecture (SCA) before they could field the system. To do this, the Air Force awarded Rockwell Collins a maximum $90 million contract to develop the TTNT Waveform Version 7 increment one and two.
This latest contract increase is to develop TTNT Waveform Version 7 increments three and four, which will complete, qualify, and deliver the waveform to the Pentagon's JTRS waveform repository by the end of 2013.
This contract also calls for Rockwell Collins to meet urgent U.S. military needs for TTNT radio terminals, perform system upgrades, as well as provide system refurbishment, maintenance, and training. As part of the contract, Rockwell Collins engineers also will test TTNT radio terminals for interoperability with Quint Networking Technology terminals. For more information contact Rockwell Collins online at www.rockwellcollins.com, the Air Force Research Laboratory at www.wpafb.af.mil/AFRL, or DARPA at www.darpa.mil.
-- SDR: a spectrum of possibilities; and