Airborne tactical data network gateways evaluating EPLRS' ability to integrate with wireless meshed networks
Bey, Christopher S.
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This thesis assesses the feasibility, suitability, efficacy, and military potential of utilizing the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) from airborne communications nodes with emergent commercialbased wireless technologies. Such integration would offer highly mobile maneuver units with over-the-horizon (OTH) tactical data connectivity. Specifically, this work examines tactical data requirements intrinsic to military operations with current OTH tactical data solutions. It also explores current EPLRS architectures and use and then compares the functional capabilities and limitations of EPLRS with those of IEEE 802.11x and 802.16 standards and prevalent developing meshed network routing protocols. Finally, this thesis evaluates fielded and emergent technologies to see if they are suitable to build and to sustain (collectively or independently) interconnected, ubiquitous, and routable tactical data networks by capitalizing on the advantages of EPLRS and by exploiting the inherent advantages of airborne assets in overcoming line-of-sight (LOS) limitations.