Fighting the network: MANET management in support of littoral operations
Maupin, Matthew S.
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Advances in computer processing and communications capabilities have contributed to the recent explosion of mesh network technologies. These technologies’ operational benefits are of particular interest for those operating in the littorals. The dynamic complexities of the littorals force tactical decision-makers to adapt to a constantly changing battlespace in a constrained temporal and spatial environment. Ongoing research into the integration of unmanned systems and sensors as mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) nodes highlights the significant potential to improve situational awareness and force efficiency in the littoral environment. However, difficulties associated with tactical network operations and management make the littorals particularly challenging. There remains a need for a unified approach to managing these networks in a coherent and effective manner. The complexity of the littorals emphasizes the inherent interconnectedness of MANET management and command and control (C2). As a result, new and innovative approaches to C2 are also required. This thesis explores the value of modern network management systems as they contribute to the richness of the human-network interface, as well as the integration of network management and maneuver at the tactical level. The result is a proposal for a novel framework for littoral MANET management and C2 as a corollary of cyber-physical maneuver.
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