Aerial command and control utilizing wireless meshed networks in support of joint tactical coalition operations
Lee, Christopher R.
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This thesis explores the ability of Wi-Fi technology and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 capability to disseminate various forms of information through densely vegetated, high humidity and high temperature environments. Using a lighter-than-air vehicle (balloon) and existing commercial-off-the- shelf, 802.11b and 802.16 wireless components, real-time information can be brought to the war-fighter. In particular, this thesis experiments with the use of commercially available wireless equipment and various antennae all attached to a helium-filled balloon to send and receive video, audio and digital information. This information is then disbursed to individual members of an established network over a specified land-mass. The balloon plays an important role in connecting network members to information that helps local and national commanders in making tactical decisions. These decisions consist of deploying forces, identifying and targeting the enemy, and deterring hostilities. Identifying the best method to supply real-time data to facilitate the movement of military assets and enhance a military s ability to engage an enemy decisively. Employing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems to disseminate real-time information is a potentially inexpensive solution to enable air and ground components to survey and target adversaries instantaneously. The ability to provide actionable information to the soldier serves as a force multiplier and increases the probability of mission success.
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