United tactics [DIGITAL BATTLESPACE]

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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Unread post11 Jul 2016, 01:54

United tactics [FOUR PAGE PDF attached]
July-August Peter Donaldson; DIGITAL BATTLESPACE

"Tactical operators in the air, on the ground and at sea face agile and increasingly technically capable adversaries across the spectrum of conflict, and need every edge that advanced networking can give them....

...Tackling platform dependence
Indicating one significant barrier to improved mission effectiveness through shared networked data, Cooper pointed out that a wide range of legacy airborne radios are platform-dependent. This means, for example, that fighters of different generations, such as the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 have limited interoperability with their fourth-generation counterparts like the F-15 and F-16 and also with each other. Government programmes, such as the USAF’s Talon Hate 5th to 4th initiative, aim to address this problem....

...Also with an eye on the near future, Cooper said that Link 16 will continue to advance through the addition of new capabilities to multi-function terminals, including IFF: the stealthy Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) and Multi-Function Advanced Data Link (MADL) for the F-22 and F-35 respectively; the Mobile User Objective System military SATCOM system; and TTNT, along with new range-seeking waveforms in a single software-defined radio. In applications that can handle large form factor equipment, he added, MIDS and JTRS will dominate the US and international markets....

...C2E breaks away from the conventional architecture in which each radio transceiver is served by its own DSP and/or field programmable gate array (FPGA) for signal processing and a dedicated CPU to run applications. Instead, the transceivers are grouped in functional blocks and served by a waveform processing functional block, containing special-purpose devices such as application-specific integrated circuits, FPGAs and DSPs, along with an application processing block with several CPUs.

This structure enables C2E to ‘decompose’ functions into reusable processing elements across waveforms and hardware, with multiple ‘performers’ collaborating to implement CDL, MADL, Link 16, TTNT and IFDL on C2E hardware. The first instantiation of C2E consists of three hardware suites including a laboratory development system, a ruggedised flight system and a third in a small form factor.

Using C2E technology, DyNAMO will feature an information-based network framework that is designed to enable interoperability across multiple networks, translating network-specific address and content formats, adjusting data rates and prioritising traffic flows. Its network optimiser will adaptively configure advanced radios in response to changes in information requirements and the environment. With a high level of system integration, it is intended to demonstrate adaptive network-of-networks technologies to enable future missions. Testing of final DyNAMO hardware is expected to take place during FY2019."

Source: VOLUME 8 NUMBER 4 JULY/AUGUST 2016 DIGITAL BATTLESPACE
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F-35 Link16 BATS-D DyNAMO Digita Battlespace Jul-Aug 2016 pp4.pdf
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Unread post26 Sep 2016, 00:08

Another DyNAMO story from same source different date... one page PDF of article attached.
DyNAMO data sharing tests begin
Sep-Oct Beth Maundrill, Digital Battlespace

"Simulation testing is set to begin for DARPA’s Dynamic Network Adaptation for Mission Optimization (DyNAMO) project. The new airborne information sharing system allows the free flow of data between aircraft, including the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35.

Contractors involved in the programme include BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Lockheed
Martin, Raytheon and Vencore Labs. The government team includes the Naval Research Laboratory and the MITRE
Corporation.

‘The primary challenge is to achieve the desired flexibility and adaptability without a prohibitive increase in processing or
communication overhead,’ explained Wayne Phoel, programme manager at DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. This will
involve an information-based framework technical area and a network optimisation technical area...."

Source: DIGITAL BATTLESPACE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 VOLUME 8 NUMBER 5
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DyNAMO data sharing tests begin Digital Battlespace Sep-Oct 2016.pdf
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DyNAMOnetworkF-35others.png
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Unread post27 Sep 2016, 11:40

U.S. Air Force Sticks With Northrop Airborne Comms Node
27 Sep 2016 James Drew

"There is no better proving ground for an airborne communications gateway than the mountain regions of Afghanistan. When fighting against the Taliban there, U.S. and coalition forces quickly discovered, at great cost, that the large peaks and troughs inhibited line-of-sight radio communications between troops, support aircraft and command centers. Seeking a solution, the Pentagon hurriedly outfitted four Bombardier BD700 Global Express business jets and later three Northrop Grumman EQ-4B....

...The success of BACN has not been lost on the U.S.’s coalition partners, who themselves have difficulty passing data between dissimilar equipment within their air, land and naval forces. Northrop is marketing a family of airborne gateways to include Smart Node Pod, which can be carried on smaller platforms such as the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper. The company is also pushing a BACN-derived processor called Resilient Network Controller, optimized for connecting battle management and surveillance networks.

The international demand is being driven in part by the looming introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 among allied and NATO nations. F-35s communicate via the Multifunction Advanced Data Link, which is not compatible with earlier-generation aircraft and must be translated and retransmitted on Link 16 by some other means.

Australia will introduce 72 F-35s over the coming years, with aircraft arriving at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bases Williamtown and Tindal beginning in 2018. The RAAF is getting ahead of the problem by launching “Plan Jericho,” an initiative to link all airborne, land and maritime forces under one resilient combat network. That includes the Royal Australian Army’s troubled Airbus Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, which communicates via EuroGrid, a data link format that is not supported by any other asset within the Australian Defense Force. The UK, meanwhile, will procure 138 B-model F-35s, which will have difficulty sharing data with the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Northrop is offering BACN-like airborne gateways to both nations and recently supported a live-fire demonstration in Puckapunyal, Australia, involving most of that country’s combat aircraft, including the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, E-7A Wedgetail and Tiger. The company provided an airborne gateway carried aboard its Gulfstream II business jet. The exercise in March, named Jericho Dawn 16-3, successfully demonstrated interoperability with the Tiger and other platforms.

“We connected the [Tiger] to the ground forces and to their naval and air forces,” Karkainen says. “They were pleased enough with our ability to do that quickly, since we were put under contract in January and implemented the demonstration in March of this year. They want to have an interim gateway to continue to support their [Plan Jericho] demonstrations. We’re still discussing requirements with them on what their interim gateway would look like and what platform it would be on. We will get the requirements, bid for them and move forward.”

The UK has a similar networking vision called the Future Integrated Battle Force, and Northrop is working with the British Defense Ministry to demonstrate how the Eurofighter and F-35 can be linked using airborne gateway technology. Northrop expects a contract for a flight demonstration soon, with the first tests expected by year-end or next spring...."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft ... comms-node
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Unread post30 Sep 2016, 11:43

More in the spirit of network centricity in he battle space.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2 ... lity-Share
BAE Systems to Bolster U.S. Navy’s Ability to Share Critical ISR Data


WAYNE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth up to $84.7 million to provide the U.S. Navy with the ability to simultaneously transmit and receive real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data from multiple sources and exchange command and control information across disparate networks. Known as the Network Tactical Common Data Link (NTCDL) System, this new technology will allow the Navy to share large quantities of critical ISR data across platforms and networks.

“We’re providing a technology that will create a pathway to more advanced capabilities.”
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NTCDL enhances the Navy’s situational awareness and tactical battlefield advantage through a real-time exchange of voice, data, imagery, and full-motion video from a variety of sources: air, surface, subsurface, and man-portable. With NTCDL, warfighters will be able to support multiple, simultaneous networked operations using currently fielded Common Data Link (CDL) equipment, as well as next-generation manned and unmanned platforms. Initial systems will be installed on Navy aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships.
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"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post03 Oct 2016, 14:14

Upgraded MADL for Block Four F-35s? Many possibilities mentioned for connectivity for the COMBAT CLOUD / NIFC-CA ....
How To Get F-35s, F-22s Talking To Fourth-Generation Fighters
U.S. Air Force is struggling to build a modern comms network for its aging fighter force
29 Sep 2016 Lara Seligman

"Combat Cloud
As fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35 begin to come online, bringing with them advanced sensors and data fusion capability, the U.S. Air Force is looking for a way to build a battlefield communications network that will allow fighter jets of different generations to share a common picture.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor do more than shoot missiles and drop bombs—they are flying data hubs, designed to vacuum in critical threat information and transmit it all over the world. The problem is that the Air Force does not currently have the network architecture necessary to quickly and efficiently distribute that data to the legacy fleet, most of which operates on Commodore 64-era computer systems.

According to Air Combat Commander Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, it is essential that the service build an aerial network that takes advantage of the sophisticated sensors on modern platforms—a so-called “combat cloud” that enables the transmission of information from the tactical edge of the fight to command and control centers.

“It is incredibly important: How do we suck up all the information that the F-22, F-35, B-21 and the other family of systems [bring in]?” Carlisle said Sept. 20 at the Air Force Association’s annual air and space conference. “There is tons of information that those sensor suites are gathering that right now we are unable to take advantage of because we do not have the ability to offboard all that information as rapidly and as quickly as we need to.”

The Air Force’s ultimate goal is to network the combat air forces so that F-35 and F-22 pilots can rapidly share images and targeting data with the airmen flying fourth-generation aircraft such as the F-15 and F-16. But the service’s history of using stovepiped communications networks on its fighter jets complicates the already difficult task of enabling all its aircraft to share information in both friendly and hostile environments....

...“We are not going to get to an all-stealth force anytime soon, so we are going to have aircraft such as F-15s, F-16s, F-18s operating for quite a while,” he says. “So how do we automate this sharing of vast quantities of information in a hands-off manner, so that it is transparent to the pilot, so he or she does not have to be distracted by passing information?”...

...Boeing’s secretive Phantom Works developed a podded system called Talon HATE, designed to be hosted on an F-15C and provide connectivity between F-22 and fourth-generation fighters. The Air Force had planned to field four 1,800-lb. Talon HATE pods, which combine a covert data exchange capability with an infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor, in 2015, but has been mum on the program for the past few years.

More recently, the service appears to be leaning away from a separate podded capability to provide connectivity between different generations of fighters. Instead, leaders are exploring technology such as software-defined radios (SDR) with “translators” to allow operators to easily switch between different waveforms and frequencies, Carlisle says.

This spring, the Air Force put out a notice seeking sources to begin discussions about developing a new “gateway” that would provide a communications pathway from fifth-generation jets to fourth-generation fighters equipped with Link 16 data links. The gateway would be hosted on an F-15C.

The service wants this new gateway to enable fifth-generation fighters to share a common battlespace picture over different tactical data links and include an IRST sensor as a stealthy alternative to radar to scan the skies for airborne targets. The new gateway must also have a way of maintaining satellite communications during air combat and create a secure, common tactical picture that blends information from the IRST sensors with the respective data links of the F-22, F-35 and legacy aircraft.

Northrop has developed a capability that might fit this bill. The Freedom 550 fifth-generation radio—developed under the Joint Strike Fighter Enterprise Terminal (JETpack) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration program—is a multichannel, multifunction SDR, built using modules from the integrated avionics the company provides for the F-35 and F-22. Northrop says the Freedom 550 provides both MADL and IFDL interoperability and allows communication between fifth- and fourth-generation fighters while the modern jets are in stealth mode.

Meanwhile, Northrop is also working on a more robust version of MADL for the F-35 follow-on program, Block 4, that will allow the jet to communicate covertly with F-22, says Colin Phan, director of avionics and tactical networks for Northrop’s communications business. The F-35 program office also hopes the upgraded MADL will allow the F-35 to communicate with fourth-generation fighters without compromising stealth, says Richard Meyer, deputy chief of the Air Force’s F-35 system management office.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is working on integration of L-3 Communications’ Chameleon waveform for direct communications among F-22s and F-35s without the use of a gateway. Lockheed demonstrated Chameleon, which can be used by antennas operating on the L-band, in 2013 through a series of demonstrations called Project Missouri. Data transmitted via the waveform would be “spread” below the noise in an anti-access environment; only the proper receiver could “pull the data out” of that noise, officials told Aviation Week at the time. The benefit to this approach is that operators can make use of L-band antennas already on the fighters, eliminating the need for costly modifications...."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/how-get ... n-fighters
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Unread post10 May 2017, 00:45

https://defensesystems.com/articles/201 ... lhawk.aspx


Air Force Global Hawk gets remote communication and data sharing


The Air Force is modifying and installing the latest Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) onto the EQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, giving service members constant communication connectivity and network-centric data sharing in the field.

Northrop Grumman was the developer behind the BACN, and the company has just received a $39,947,203 contract to integrate the BACN payload and the EQ-4B drone.

According to Lt. Col. James Peterson, Commander of the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, the BACN AEP’s gateway and translator software performs two main functions for service members in the field. It amplifies radio signals so that they can travel greater distances and reach the necessary receivers, and it makes multiple different communication devices and signals compatible with each other.

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"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post12 May 2017, 01:40

I kind of feel we should just bite the bullet and standardize everything on MADL as much as possible.
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Unread post12 May 2017, 11:07

On the other shore of the ocean , but within NATO. Rafale F4 standard will bring software defined radios, communication server, intra patrol datalink aswell as "stealthy" satcom. No idea ether any compatibility with MADL is envisaged. This is part of a whole program aimed at networking every armies/navy assets.
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Unread post13 May 2017, 11:08

rheonomic wrote:I kind of feel we should just bite the bullet and standardize everything on MADL as much as possible.


Dunno how much you can accomplish considering the data transports for each tech are so different.

Converting a couple of global hawks to act as a flying-LO router, perhaps?
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Unread post13 May 2017, 11:20

I watched a video some years back where a panel of military and civilian experts were discussing NCW. Having a multitude of diverse networks and protocols interact with one another is a major challenge but it also provides redundancy in case one or more were compromised.
Last edited by popcorn on 14 May 2017, 01:16, edited 1 time in total.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post13 May 2017, 18:48

nutshell wrote:Dunno how much you can accomplish considering the data transports for each tech are so different.


Probably not much with legacy systems (maybe a pod?), but I like the idea of using software-defined radio tech for future datalinks.

At the very least I'd like to see some way for IFDL and MADL to interoperate.
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Unread post05 Jun 2017, 00:50

rheonomic wrote:
nutshell wrote:Dunno how much you can accomplish considering the data transports for each tech are so different.


Probably not much with legacy systems (maybe a pod?), but I like the idea of using software-defined radio tech for future datalinks.

At the very least I'd like to see some way for IFDL and MADL to interoperate.


AND multifunction AESA panels as antennas btw.The topic (architecture of future information systems and interoperability between US systems and FCAS) was extensively discussed end of last year in London between Fr, Uk and US air cheif of staff.
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Unread post17 Oct 2017, 02:43

Saving YOUR bacon - BACN!

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Unread post17 Oct 2017, 14:14

spazsinbad wrote:Saving YOUR bacon - BACN!



Agree about standardizing, but would LM accept to give MADL protocols?
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Unread post17 Oct 2017, 14:37

If they haven't already (they've already given IFDL) then of course.

Edit: Actually, I'm not sure it's Lockheed's to give anyway; Northrop Grumman produces the F-35's overall CNI (comms) system and as far as I can tell, Harris is the developer / manufacturer for all the actual MADL hardware.

So assuming the US Gov doesn't own the IP, then it could be Lockheed's, or it could be Northrop's, or it could be Harris'.
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