Secure Mesh Networking Comes to Mobile Command Posts
Published in BATTLESPACE
Written by Dominic Perez
NATO armed forces have called for more mobility, maneuverability, interoperability, and reduced setup time for tactical command posts. To meet those objectives, command post programs are moving away from large complexes relying on multiple tents, to architectures based on vehicle-mounted communications shelters utilizing wireless technologies. This new approach promises to dramatically reduce the setup time associated with constructing tents and data-center-like infrastructure, as well as laying thousands of feet of cable. To make this happen, programs are looking to small form factor, rugged, commercial-oﬀ-the-shelf (COTS) technologies that ﬁt within limited spaces and provide wireless network access inside vehicle shelters and between vehicles.
At the same time, allied armed forces are seeking more robust secure network solutions that improve command post survivability and provide optimized network traffic. To meet those objectives, network architectures are moving from hub-and-spoke network architectures to state-of-the-art meshing architecture solutions.
In addition to their speed of deployment, another advantage of wireless networking is that it can deliver true network resiliency. The use of mesh topologies can eliminate the threat of a single point of failure. Unlike hub-and-spoke network architectures, the loss of a single node or access point in a mesh network won’t result in the loss of the entire vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network.
PacStar Secure Mesh Command Post (SMCP)
The remote capabilities of PacStar SMCP complements PacStar Secure Wireless Command Posts (SWCP), in use today in U.S. Army PM Tactical Network command posts for wireless network access. Working together, the combination creates a complete, multi-vehicle mobile command post system utilizing Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) architectures.