Better combat robot connectivity among improvements at major US Army network exercise

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military research team has announced various achievements in its latest annual experiment that could lead to future opportunities on the battlefield.

The C5ISR is testing numerous technologies this summer to equip with unmanned teams and advanced network communication techniques in its on-site network modernization experiment at the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base event in New Jersey to test tools in an operational environment.

The main conclusion of the experiment was that he was working on a critical project with open standards for the future network of the army’s battlefield. The modular open package of C5ISR / EW or CMOSS standards allows soldiers to upgrade capabilities more easily by plugging a robust standard VPX card into a small box.

The C5ISR Center team responsible for developing CMOSS presented a prototype of NetModX and tried to integrate a TSM waveform that works with software-defined radios; position, navigation and time solution; as well as installed mission command applications. CMOSS is based on an open standard architecture that increases the interoperability of tools.

“The more important lesson we’ve learned is that standards work,” said Ben Pedicord, head of Intel’s C5ISR Center for Technology and Architecture, during a media round in July.

“This is how we managed to gather a number of solutions from a number of suppliers and very quickly and easily – I mean within days – we successfully integrated them and helped them fulfill their mission. So I think we’ve learned some specific very narrow technical issues that we need to work on. Nothing significant, but the most important thing is that we really demonstrated the power of standards. “

The Army plans to deploy the CMOSS capability of Stryker armored vehicles for the Capability Set ’25, one of the launches of new tactical network technologies that occur every two years. The team also demonstrated interoperability with the dismantled soldier’s Nett Warrior situation awareness tool and the UH-60 Black Hawk, according to an army statement.

In the first week of NetModX, the research team focused on integrating the three solutions into a larger network. Over the next two weeks, they experimented with more sellers.

“Over the next two weeks, we were able to get suppliers to come in very quickly, make their decisions and everything really, almost just works,” Pedicord said.

Products include emerging waveforms; guaranteed PNT; CMOSS infrastructure prototypes; and data encryption capabilities, tactical communication and electronic warfare, according to Peddicord.

The CMOSS experiment at NetModX included participation from L3Harris Technologies, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Spectranetix, Trellisware Technologies, SRC Inc., Curtiss-Wright Corp. and Collins Aerospace.

The C5ISR is also testing the evolving networking capability of robotic combat vehicles, which will give operators a better understanding of their radio communication with the vehicle. Operators can now maneuver the vehicle until their connection dies and the robot is “orphaned” on the battlefield, said Archie Kujawski, head of the future radio concept team.

“We saw the need for end operators to be able to visualize the battlefield for this remote connection through radio stations and to visualize it as they move through the battlefield, and we saw this as quite a need to enable this connection,” Kujawski told reporters in late July.

In response, the C5ISR Center has developed a network coverage that allows combat vehicle operators to visualize the strength of their connection to the colors green, amber, and red, according to Jonathan Lee, head of the spectrum research and development team. The instrument displays a thermal map of coverage, which calculates the strength of the radio signal based on the terrain and altitude. The ultimate goal is an ability that will notify users when their relationship deteriorates.

“An advantage that allows the user to gain knowledge of where the real network coverage will be,” Lee told the media event. “This allows radio stations to be used better and allows vehicle operators to make decisions based on radio connectivity on different routes and therefore allows them to see where they can send the remote control.”

Network researchers also tested the possibility of covert radio waves against congestion, communicating at the command post as part of a broader effort to reduce the electronic signatures of the service’s command posts. The military is pushing for mobile, distributed command posts as it prepares for potential future wars against advanced adversaries such as Russia and China.

At NetModX, the C5ISR Center is testing new commercial radios for moving vehicles that could in the future be part of the mobile command post effort, known as Integrated Command Infrastructure, an effort led by the command, control, communication and tactical executive office. of the program. The researchers tested two commercial radio stations from undisclosed companies as part of a caravanning activity in which vehicles drove about a seven-kilometer course in mixed terrain and greenery, said RJ Regars, a systems engineer at the C5ISR Center, in another media update in August.

One radio performed well and the other did not, Regars said, without going into detail. No radio performed well in a second test in which devices shifted responsibility for maintaining the data connection, depending on their location. These results were “what we expected” because commercial radio stations were not set up for tactical use.

“It’s worth understanding both what trading systems do well and what they don’t do well, because … our focus is to use what we can from the trading world, and not have to rework these things, “Regars said.

Andrew Eversden covers all security technologies for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for the Federal Times and Fifth Domain and served as a speaker in Congress for the Texas Tribune. He was also an intern in Washington for the Durango Herald. Andrew graduated from the American University.

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