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SIGNAL Executive Video: Multi-Path Communications at the Tactical Edge for JADC2

In a Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) environment, awareness of available resources and technology is the first step to moving data quickly and efficiently. Multi-path communications at the tactical edge can look different from site to site, with the use of a variety of communication methods and platforms complicating operations. One key to mitigating the complex issue is to pull communications—on land, at sea and in space—into a central processing system.  

Two companies specializing in varying solutions have joined forces to address the multi-path communication systems for the U.S. government. These solutions, provided by Sigma Defense and Cradlepoint, gather information from multiple points in a secure, agnostic system and then disseminate them to the right people, experts said.  

JADC2 is expanding and quickening communication in the military to shorten response times and provide a tactical advantage. But without using a variety of systems to carry data, JADC2 operations could still be left vulnerable to communications failures.

In our latest SIGNAL Executive Video Series, we learn from Jaime Beere, vice president of technology and innovation at Sigma Defense, and Mark DeVol, vice president of federal sales at Cradlepoint, on their collaborative effort to “Connect & Serve” the federal government customers with innovative solutions.

In multi-path communications systems, end users have more options, which reduces the risks of single points of failure, said Mark DeVol, vice president of federal sales at Cradlepoint, an Idaho-based company that works with multiple sources of data to find the best path for transmitting information. Especially in contested environments, having multiple paths reduces the chances that an end user will be left isolated, he explained during a recent Executive Video with SIGNAL Media. 

“It’s not just what technologies are available, but can we utilize these different networks to transmit data over these different links simultaneously so there's no single point of failure and improve the chance of that data reaching the intended recipient,” DeVol said.  “Not to mention that all of this needs to be done in a secure manner, so that the data is protected.” 

U.S. adversaries look hard at communications pathways, especially critical links and circuits, to create points of failure. Even with the fastest, most advanced technology, in the event that systems can’t transmit critical information, U.S. forces would be forced to react to enemies rather than having the advantage of acting first, said Jamie Beere, vice president of technology and innovation at Sigma Defense, a Georgia-based company that takes in multiple streams of information and enables local processing, analysis and dissemination. 

“Bottom line is, the dynamic and dispersive multi-path integrated communications defies a single stovepipe,” Beere said. “That's going to be the critical piece.”

Data is further moved away from local servers to enable additional comprehensive analysis. With the system, information rapidly is brought to the right people to allow for quick responses. The companies’ technology uses a variety of tools to move data most efficiently, including software defined networking that allows devices to make intelligent routing decisions. Tools work to create a “built-in intelligence” DeVol explained.  

Cradlepoint’s multi-path communication partners, like Sigma Defense, then “take what we do and integrate it into a much larger solution,” DeVol said.  

Sigma Defense takes pieces of technology, including Cradlepoint’s cellular communications, along with other robust network edge communication systems, and combines them into a larger agnostic platform. Partners work to integrate communications systems and technologies, from local AI tools to diverse data sensors. 

“It's going to require all of industry to do this,” Beere said.