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Wireless Communications

4G Will Get You 10X

August 1, 2013
By Master Chief Petty Officer Chris Vertin, USA (Ret.), Lt. Col. Scott Brooks, USA, and Lt. Col. Dave Hernandez, USA

 

A new 4G capability known as JOLTED TACTICS offers tactical units up to 10 times the wireless bandwidth, data rate and delivery speed of 3G networks. The Internet protocol-based system is designed to provide robust communications to dismounted special operations forces teams and general purpose forces at the tactical level. The system leverages innovations in 4G Long Term Evolution cellular technologies, software-based encryption and mobile Ka-band spread spectrum satellite communications to rapidly deliver megabits of data to mobile, dismounted teams equipped with specially configured mobile devices such as smartphones or netbooks.

The Joint Operational Long Term Evolution Deployable (JOLTED) Tactical Cellular System (TACTICS) also features the ability for forces to securely interface directly with existing command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. This will not only give them access to previously unavailable mission data but also allow them to input information, potentially giving tactical commanders a far more accurate common operational picture. Using 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based technology, dismounted forces can now use applications such as streaming media, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), email and instant messaging for immediate situational awareness.

For example, remotely deployed forces equipped with a specially configured JOLTED TACTICS 4G device can exchange large video or imagery files in seconds rather than minutes. Forces operating in urban environments in Afghanistan or other flashpoints can receive and immediately share critical location and indication and warning data in usable formats, such as map overlays of threat locations or video from an unmanned aerial vehicle operating overhead.

Small Atomic Clocks Chart New Horizons

April 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

A tiny device the size of a sugar cube may revolutionize military communications and sensor systems. The technology is a micro-scale atomic clock designed to help spectrum-hopping radios synchronize their frequencies and access signals from navigation satellites. This prototype time keeper is undergoing testing to determine its readiness for military applications.

Army Eliminates Enemies at Any Node

April 2008
By Rita Boland

Technology resembling the human immune system is enhancing security for ad hoc mobile wireless networks on the battlefield. It will automate operations; offer unique, enhanced protection to communications assets; and relieve troops from constant network-monitoring. The result is increased user trust in the network.

Cognitive Radio Prepares for Action

April 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

An experimental radio technology could provide U.S. warfighters with assured access to voice, data and video communications. The prototype systems use an advanced wireless networking capability to link troops with larger networks such as the Global Information Grid. The radios also are capable of sensing the electromagnetic environment and selecting frequencies that are not in use automatically.

Digital Libraries Extend Longevity of Programmable Communication Tools

September 1999
By Henry S. Kenyon

Internet accessible data libraries are looming as an important element in the continuing evolution of communications devices. By being able to hold a variety of waveform and signal processing algorithms on chips and in databases, these information storehouses give users enhanced flexibility in selecting specific material when and where they need it.

Technology Provides Dynamic Bandwidth In Wireless Broadband Access Systems

September 1999
By Michelle L. Hankins

An evolving technology promises efficient spectrum use to enable bandwidth on demand in wireless broadband access systems. The technology is being implemented in point-to-multipoint systems operating across the millimeter wave region to provide wireless communications transmissions.

Turbo Codes Offer Broadcasting At Near-Channel Capacity

September 1999
By Henry S. Kenyon

Engineers are using a new class of algorithms capable of encoding and decoding communications at speeds close to transmission channel maximum capacities, a feat that has eluded engineers since the 1940s when a theoretical limit to channel capacity was first defined. Under development since the early 1990s, these algorithms are now being tested in proof-of-concept devices.

Software Breaks Down Cellular Barriers

December 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Cellular telephone users may be closer to achieving their dream of making telephone calls or accessing messages and services from anywhere in the world. Researchers have developed a software architecture that allows global roaming across all types of wireless systems. The technology offers the potential for upcoming third generation wireless telecommunications systems to operate beyond the current patchwork of regional and national networks.

Waiting for 3G

December 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Regulatory and spectrum issues may delay widespread release of third generation wireless technologies in the United States and Europe. The root of the difficulty is the lack of available bands for new applications in North America and questions surrounding rule-making authority in the European Union.

Computer Language Seeks Deeper Meaning

June 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

U.S. Defense Department researchers are developing software that may be capable of accurately understanding the nuances of human language. The technology promises to greatly enhance a spectrum of computer-based systems-from commercial Web browsers and personal virtual assistants to advanced intelligence gathering and command and control systems.

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