Harris Corporation Technology Creates High-Throughput, Airborne IP Network During Major Military Exercise

Network Provides Situational Awareness by Sharing Video and Data on the Battlefield

Jun 15, 2010, 13:00 ET from Harris Corporation

TAMPA, Fla., June 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- (Harris Booth #2015) – Advanced radio technology from Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS), an international communications and information technology company, created a mobile, airborne communications network that transmitted high-bandwidth, information throughout a 7,500-square-mile area during a recent Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX).  The successful experiment was announced during the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) being held June 15-17 at the Tampa Convention Center.  

The live-fly JEFX-10 exercise, conducted at Nellis Air Force Range, Nevada, realistically simulated irregular-warfare scenarios, including those that might be encountered by troops operating in the mountains of Afghanistan.  A dozen RT-1944/U SeaLancet™ radios, collaboratively developed by Harris and small business partner Reliable System Services (RSS), were used in the air and on the ground to create a wideband relay network.  The network connected low-altitude helicopters, high-altitude planes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and dismounted soldiers.

Operating in full-mesh and point-to-multipoint modes, the network provided data link rates of 48 Mb/s beyond a 30-mile radius.  The system also included prototypes of a new high-gain, directional panel antenna designed by Harris engineers and featuring innovative anti-jam, interference-mitigation characteristics.  Antenna panels can be combined to allow 360-degree coverage through switch sector operation.

"The RT-1944/U enables true collaboration between manned and unmanned platforms, levering the strengths of each," said Wes Covell, president, Harris Defense Programs.  "This successful demonstration comes at a time when the military is relying more and more on live feeds from UAVs.  The ability to rapidly push rich situational awareness data from the tactical edge up the command chain is an urgent requirement for all branches of the military."

The Harris radios networked four different air platforms (AH-64D Apache, MV-22 Osprey, E-2C Hawkeye and Orion), three different UAV nodes (Buster, Raven and Hunter/Killer), two remote cameras, and a mobile ground team with wideband connection to the Combined Air Operations Center for data analysis and re-distribution.

The type of tactical network enabled by the RT-1944/U represents a fundamental advancement in how video and targeting data can be shared on the battlefield for improved collaboration.  Where data was previously transmitted over static, point-to-point networks, the RT-1944/U creates a fluid, IP-based network where assets dynamically connect and disconnect while on the move.  

In addition, the high-throughput capability of the RT-1944/U supports more than 15 simultaneous video streams, enabling video to travel between manned and unmanned platforms easily and quickly.  Current systems support only limited transmission of video streams.

Harris Defense Programs develops, supplies, and integrates communications and information processing products, systems, and networks for a diverse base of aerospace, terrestrial and maritime applications supporting U.S. Department of Defense missions.  Harris is committed to delivering leading-edge technologies that support the military's ongoing transformation to network-centric communications.

About Harris Corporation

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries.  Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and more than 15,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists.  Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications® products, systems, and services.  Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.

SOURCE Harris Corporation