Proof of concept in disrupted tactical networking
Kline, Thomas D.
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Current systems used to control unmanned assets and maintain command and control networks typically rely upon persistent signals. However, the Department of Defense (DoD) predicts that adversaries will be able to detect, geolocate, and target through electromagnetic (EM) spectrum operations in the future operating environment. Unable to rely upon constant interconnection, the DOD must begin to reconsider the nature and behavior of its networks. In 2011, Bordetsky and Netzer proposed networks that do not exist as a potential solution. They envision multi-domain networks whose links connect only long enough to transmit critical information securely. The links quickly disconnect, leaving no trace electromagnetically. The DoD lacks sufficient research that evaluates the merits of short-living network solutions. Without adequate research, the future DOD may either unnecessarily expose its forces to adversaries through the networks or impair decision-making by choosing not to communicate because of the risk of detection. In this study, we design projectile-based mesh networking prototypes as one potential type of short-living network node and use the projectiles to observe some of the merits and challenges of moving from persistent signal networks to cluster-based networks created only during disruption.
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