An interactive computer graphics network monitor for a tactical communications network.
Griggs, Laurence W.
Zyda, M. J.
Adams, Richard A.
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In order to apply modern networking technology, either circuit- or packetswitched, to tactical communications networks, network designers must develop (1) robust link level protocols to handle broadcast media and node mobility and (2) distributed, adaptive routing protocols to handle the rapid reconfigurations required by node mobility and mortality. In addition, from the network manager's point of view, combat imposes electronic order of battle constraints that can affect network performance and limit the available network configurations. Optimizing message throughput under such design and operational constraints is extremely difficult. Intended as an aid to both network designers and managers, this study describes a network monitor that uses modern high-speed graphics hardware and a responsive multi-window user interface to depict, in real-time, the state of a packet- or circuit-switched tactical communications network. We model the network state as a set of overlays to an existing well-known tactical display format, namely that of Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS). In our implementation, tactical and network displays are decoupled in order to allow the network monitor's use with other graphical combat information systems.
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