GSM Network Employment on a Man-Portable UAS
Rogers, Darren J.
Buettner, Raymond R.
Jones, Kevin D.
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There are numerous national systems that offer communications support with enhanced capabilities to support ISR. For the tactical unit, it can be challenging and cumbersome to deal with national systems that may or may not be able to provide near real-time support due to other, high priority tasking. The deployment of a low-cost GSM communications support system with enhanced capabilities (CSSEC) to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), which a tactical unit could have organically, would relieve the warfighter of having to depend on national assets and processes. Employing a CSSEC system on a man-portable or small UAS would allow the range of the system to be greatly extended, as opposed to a ground-based system which may be difficult to operate in a high-threat environment. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware is readily available and easily acquired. With a CSSEC deployed on a UAS, a tactical unit conducting ground operations would not be geographically constrained to a specific location to conduct ISR. Nor would they draw attention to the unit in having to set up antennas and other equipment on a building or outpost. Leveraging COTS hardware and open-source software will keep overall cost low without having to deal with software licensing requirements associated with proprietary systems.
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