Energy Efficient Real-Time Distributed Communication Architectures for Military Tactical Communication Systems

Energy Efficient Real-Time Distributed Communication Architectures for Military Tactical Communication Systems

Bora Karaoglu (The Samraksh Company, USA), Tolga Numanoglu (ASELSAN Inc., Turkey), Bulent Tavli (TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Turkey) and Wendi Heinzelman (University of Rochester, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8662-5.ch002
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For military communication systems, it is important to achieve robust and energy efficient real-time communication among a group of mobile users without the support of a pre-existing infrastructure. Furthermore, these communication systems must support multiple communication modes, such as unicast, multicast, and network-wide broadcast, to serve the varied needs in military communication systems. One use for these military communication systems is in support of real-time mobile cloud computing, where the response time is of utmost importance; therefore, satisfying real-time communication requirements is crucial. In this chapter, we present a brief overview of military tactical communications and networking (MTCAN). As an important example of MTCAN, we present the evolution of the TRACE family of protocols, describing the design of the TRACE protocols according to the tactical communications and networking requirements. We conclude the chapter by identifying how the TRACE protocols can enable mobile cloud computing within military communication systems.
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Military Tactical Communications And Networking: Overview

Military tactical communications and networking (MTCAN) has been evolving from push-to-talk radios (Sass, 1999) to complex computer networks with the help of software defined radio (SDR) technology (Dillinger, Madani, & Alonistioti, 2005; Sterling, 2008). SDRs make use of flexible hardware coupled with high computational capability, which facilitate the use of complex signal processing, modulation, and coding techniques. As a result of these advances in communication technology, the network built on top of this advanced communications backbone has constantly evolved to provide never before available applications for its users.

Currently, most of the military applications utilizing MTCAN employ IP-based infrastructure and platforms. These applications range from a simple file transfer protocol (ftp) that allows sharing data across the military IP cloud to voice over IP calling between the command control and civilian cellular/landline networks (Morris, 2011).

Enabled by the use of SDRs, military networks can host applications that interact with each other over the network to accomplish computing intensive tasks that cannot be performed by a single node. One can call this military cloud computing (i.e., the military cloud), which can be considered as a private cloud built on top of the IP infrastructure provided by interconnected military networks. Even though the military cloud can access or interface to any civilian cloud, military cloud applications are restricted to utilize only military infrastructures and platforms (Burbank, Chimento, Haberman, & Kasch, 2006; Lund, Eggen, Hadzic, Hafsoe, & Johnsen, 2007).

In this chapter, we describe how the available collective computing power of SDRs can be utilized by the protocols and algorithms designed for MTCAN. We also explain the requirements and priorities of MTCAN, which have been shaping the solutions offered by the research community, and we discuss how these solutions differ from that of civilian communication networks. We start by introducing the motivation behind MTCAN. In other words, we briefly explain why there is a need for a distinction between military and civilian communications and networking. Then we summarize the design principles, priorities and requirements of MTCAN. The rest of this chapter details the evolution of a specific family of MTCAN protocols, which have been shaped by the requirements of military applications.

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