Integrating cellular handset capabilities with Marine Corps tactical communications
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Stateside, communication is as easy as picking up a cell phone and dialing from virtually anywhere. A cell phone has the capability to send and receive real-time voice communication, voice messaging, text messaging, and e-mail as well as to capture videos/pictures. However, the cost of this technology in a field environment has traditionally been too heavily weighted toward permanent infrastructure or other non-cost-efficient solutions. Imagine the communication benefits for highly mobile units either providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance or conducting full-scale combat operations. These missions share similar characteristics, which routinely require a highly mobile, ad-hoc wireless network to provide successful communication within and among participating units. This thesis investigates three approaches of integrating COTS cellular technology with Marine Corps tactical radio networks: reconfiguring a hand-held device, adding a modular bridge device, and reconfiguring current Marine Corps tactical radios. The majority of the experiment chapter is devoted to evaluating current military radios and commercial cellular devices as extensions. Because the military does not currently field cellular technology, the main focus was the measurement and comparison of the throughput limitations and device emissions. The risks associated with COTS cellular handsets are not as significant as the normal misconceptions.
Acquisition Research ProgramApproved for public release; distribution unlimited.
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-10-004
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