Rugged Computing Takes on the Battlefield Networking Challenge

January 28, 2022

Rugged Computing Takes on the Battlefield Networking Challenge

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by Jamie Whitney

NASHUA, N.H. - Warfighters and the experts that support them have a dizzying amount of computing power thanks to small, rugged mobile computers designed for the modern battlefield. Today’s forward-deployed rugged computers, servers, and network equipment also need to have security at top priorities.

Aneesh Kothari, the vice president of marketing for Systel Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas, says the military’s focus on Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) connectivity is a large trend, as the military-aerospace rugged computing sector rolls into the year 2022. The goal of JADC2 is to share data in all domains across all branches, quickly and securely.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service in Washington, “traditionally, each of the military services developed its own tactical network that was incompatible with those of other services (i.e., Army networks were unable to interface with Navy or Air Force networks). DOD [Department of Defense] officials have argued that future conflicts may require decisions to be made within hours, minutes, or potentially seconds compared with the current multiday process to analyze the operating environment and issue commands.”

Dominic Perez, technical fellow and chief technical officer of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, says he agrees that JADC2 is the biggest programmatic driver of trends in small rugged computers and network equipment for aerospace and defense electronics, including the U.S. Air and Space Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

“Underneath JADC2 is ABMS, project convergence, and project overmatch,” Perez says. “The military is recognizing the need to share data across domains, top to bottom, left to right. That’s going to necessitate, in particular, more edge processing, but also more processing in just about any environment you can conceive of.

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