Traditionally, military wireless communications networks have been proprietary, utilizing line-of-sight and/or satellite radio communications with an eye on providing the most advanced and secure service possible. However, the pace of commercial innovation and widescale adoption of cellular across the globe is delivering advanced mobile data capabilities and massive economies of scale.
What’s more, during recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan the gap between allied proprietary radio communications and enemy commercial cellular networks became apparent: military wireless networks were lacking agility and reliability in comparison to the commercial wireless devices the enemy had at its disposal.
The solution may appear simple at first glance: the military could simply buy commercial network equipment from telecommunications equipment manufacturers and deploy in the field. However, while this approach has been attempted, in practice the network nodes are too cumbersome to be portable and they lack the ability to deliver ad-hoc communications — and in turn are not easily customizable to deliver the reliability and security that the military requires.
These problems have led to tremendous changes in how the military implements its wartime communications networks, including the adoption of standards-based wireless technology with 3G today and LTE in the future.
Adoption of commercial standards-defined cellular technology solves the agility, reliability, and cost challenges, but does not in itself deliver an ultra-mobile solution enabling ad-hoc network rollout and the network-of-networks concept central to next generation net-centric warfare.
The next advancement is squeezing the entire network, from base station through the core, into a small, ruggedized and defense-specialized platform which provides the ability for an entire network to be pick up and moved — or even carried in the pack of a soldier. These ultra-portable military wireless cellular networks require a combination of hardware and optimized software that meets specialized size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements.
To meet these requirements, Radisys is combining Trillium 3G and LTE and media server software with small form factor and defense-specialized COM Express modules to provide the necessary technology for today’s military wireless portable communications networks and services.
Trillium 3G and LTE software have been adopted by over 60 commercial customers and formulate the foundation of mobile networks across the globe. Similarly, Radisys Media Servers deliver voice and video conferencing capability and are the market-leading conferencing solutions, while the company’s software media server capability allows for real-time conferencing in the battlefield including push-to-talk services over ad-hoc cellular networks. Lastly, Radisys COM Express modules — based on the Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 processors — are modular, ruggedized computers that combine with a customizable carrier board to provide COTS-based hardware ideal for portable warfighter communications applications and are specifically developed to support the extreme conditions in the field.
For the next generation of military wireless communications, Radisys combines these best-in-class ingredients to provide collapsed wireless solutions:
- Comprehensive support for standards-based solutions for both 3G and LTE networks
- -40C to +85C operating temperature range, extended shock, and vibration performance
- Upgradeable, 95mm x 125mm PICMG-standard form factor enabling technology insertions
- Intel TXT ,TPM, and new AES instructions for secure access and ECC memory for improved quality
- COTS reference designs from the base station through the core network for rapid time-to-market