Communication aspects in urban terrain
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The nature of warfare has changed dramatically during the last decade. Western armies are increasingly required to conduct complex operations in urban terrain against asymmetric threats. These opponents use cities and their inhabitants for cover and concealment. In such situations, modern equipped armies often cannot fully utilize many of their most powerful weapons. To overcome this situation, modern communication systems are being acquired and deployed to provide real-time reconnaissance; thereby, attempting to neutralize the threat through enhanced situational awareness. This research addresses the potential impacts of communication from airborne sensors on assisting a convoy in finding its way through a hostile city quarter (based on Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan) in which militia forces try to interdict them via street blockades and ambushes. The implementation is done in the agent-based simulation Map Aware Non-Uniform Automata (MANA). The results show that the current MANA version is not sufficiently capable to handle routing problems in urban terrain. Specifically, the movement algorithm is â locally greedyâ and not flexible enough to project into the futureâ as real human decision makers do. Many workarounds were developed to mitigate this limitation. The analysis shows that the number of blockades is the single most important factor in determining the convoyâ s success. Of the communication factors, network latency has the most impact. For the convoy to effectively use the information, it needs to get from the sensor to the convoy in 11 seconds.
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