By John McHale
BOSTON - Obtaining networking-on-the-move capability on the battlefield requires overcoming many technological challenges encompassing satellite communication, routers, Internet Protocol, high-speed processors, high-performance software, etc.
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and industry experts will discuss these challenges, as well as lessons learned and potential solutions to enabling networking on the move for today and tomorrow’s conflicts, at the Military Technologies Conference (MTC) on March 27 and 28 in Boston.
The conference module titled, “Networking On the Move,” will cover these discussions on the first day of the conference, March 27, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Manuel Uhm, senior marketing manager, DSP division at Xilinx and a member of the Military Technologies Conference Advisory Council, will moderate.
Leading off the discussion will be Scott Dunderdale, director of on-the-move programs at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Taunton, Mass., with a presentation titled “Design Challenges for Networking on the Move Applications.”
He will talk about how providing reliable voice and data communication services to mobile ground forces involves many design challenges, from integrating satellite antennas with automatic positioners that stay fixed on satellites while transiting rugged terrain, to deploying network-automation software agents designed to keep mobile networks glued together with minimal need for manual intervention from network technicians. “This lead presentation will discuss the challenges that still need to be overcome to field systems that will enable warfighters to communicate in real-time, while on-the-move, in a tactical environment,” Dunderdale says.
Dunderdale is responsible for the definition and development of tactical communications systems that increase warfighter mobility and for the execution of related internal technology development at General Dynamics.
The second presentation, “Overcoming challenges in implementing networking on the move for military applications,” will be given by Dave Buster of Cisco Systems.
Following Buster will be Jason Cook, reliability engineer, U.S. Army’s Program Manager Future Combat System discussing “Developing a Reliable Ad-hoc Network for the Future Combat Systems.” He will cover how “reliability is a vital attribute of military systems and the network that joins them together. The benefits of an ad-hoc network are its self-forming and infrastructure-free nature. However, the dynamic and continually changing network system makes reliability an abstract concept where it is difficult to develop a single definition of operating,” Cook says. “The criticality of an individual node’s failure can not be assessed discretely because this is dependent on the state of the network around it. This presentation will describe the approach to rigorously evaluate the reliability of the ad-hoc network for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems.”
After a short break, Barton Robison an applications engineer at Parvus will give a presentation titled “Rapid Deployable Rugged Mobile Networks.” He will discuss how the “implementation and configuration of rugged mobile networks is of paramount importance to net-centric operations. Parvus has worked extensively with Cisco to implement a commercial-off-the-shelf MIL-STD Mobile Access Router. “This presentation will focus on the implementation and configuration of mobile IP [Internet Protocol] networks and the application of various mobile network components (routers, servers, laptops, wearable devices, specific IP conversion nodes, etc). Participants will leave with an understanding of how to layout and design a rugged mobile network,” Robison says.
Following the presentations will be a question and answer session with the audience.
In addition to the panel on networking on the move, MTC 2007 also has two other focused modules lead by industry leaders: Thermal and Power Management Trends for Military Electronics, which focuses on latest solutions for improving power efficiency to managing thermal issues in military platforms, and Software Implementation for Open Architectures, which discusses how military program managers today adapting legacy code and legacy systems to modern open architectures that are independent of hardware.
Also be sure to check out the MTC Opening Session on the morning of March 27, which is highlighted by two talks on lead-free issues.
The first presentation is from Anthony J. Rafanelli, an engineering fellow at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, and Lloyd Condra, Technical Fellow at Boeing Phantom Works, speaking on “A Protocol for Reliability Testing of Aerospace and High-Performance Lead-Free Electronic Assemblies.”
William Russell of Raytheon Professional Services LLC will also present “Methodology for Evaluating Data for ‘Reverse Compatibility’ Solder Joints.” The other authors of this paper are Dennis Fritz of SAIC, Christian Navarro of Purdue Calumet, Carol Handwerker of Purdue, Lafayette, Gary Latta of NAVSEA Crane, and Andrew Ganster of NAVSEA Crane.
The conference will be held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. For more information, please visit www.miltechconference.com.