February 23, 2012

Harris' Falcon Networking System connects warfighters to the tactical cloud

News Report

As announced in a press release, Harris recently unveiled its new Falcon networking system, which is presented as the first end-to-end system for connecting warfighters in the field to the tactical cloud. The system broadens and simplifies the delivery of secure video, data and other crucial command and control applications over both wideband tactical and emerging cellular networks.

The Technology

Warfighters today face challenges accessing data when their missions take them beyond the range of command center infrastructure. The new system combines information technology resources, such as a computer server and Falcon wideband tactical radio, into an integrated, lightweight package that can be deployed to support missions at the tactical edge. By utilizing the Falcon networking system, tactical users can now access applications and other critical data files that were previously beyond their reach due to constraints in bandwidth and power. Designed for on-the-move operations, the Falcon networking system delivers assured wireless network connectivity, content and services to mobile and dismounted soldiers. The system enables reliable, persistent distribution of vital information between higher headquarters, through command vehicles, to the squad.

Building on the proven capabilities of the AN/PRC-117G radio, Harris' solution extends the network to the edge with the most complete mobile system available. The standard configuration of the system includes:
  • Tactical Radios, i.e. the Harris' Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G, the low-profile 50-watt vehicular amplifier adapter (VAA), which also provide Sierra™ II software programmable encryption and wideband data performance with the Harris Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2) and the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW).
  • A Network Communications Server, i.e. a small, rugged and scalable network integration center which includes dual security enclaves with embedded routers and servers and standards-based interfaces to support radio cross-banding, distributed information routing, and hosting of mission-critical applications.
  • Tactical Cellulars. To help transform the user experience in military communications, Harris designed the Falcon networking system with a 4G tactical cellular module that will enable warfighters to use ruggedized smartphones and other lightweight devices on the battlefield. Tactical cellular service in the system adds capacity, speed and 4G LTE standards to the battlefield with all key components — antennas, filters, baseband and controls — contained in a rugged enclosure. The system contains an LTE Core that provides basic voice, data, video and network management through a standards-based solution compatible with commercial user equipment. Future enhancements will include roaming and composed security solutions.

"Harris is committed to developing technology that significantly enhances the utility of the tactical network," said George Helm, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. "This system builds on our expertise in tactical communications and high-grade information security to deliver assured network connectivity, content and services, where and when they are needed. In short, our system delivers information to the right place at the right time in harsh and remote environments."

References: Harris (1,2)

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