SHORT-TERM SELF-MOVING TACTICAL NETWORKS IN AUSTERE ENVIRONMENTS
Crawford, Beverly A.
Mullins, Steven J.
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U.S. Special Operations forces require secure and reliable network communications for Command and Control (C2) when operating in austere environments, such as enemy combatant or disaster relief operations. During these operations, current communication procedures present a significant risk to network operators who must be physically present to construct tactical networks. An extensive amount of research has been conducted utilizing unmanned ground, air, and surface vehicles to extend communication links; however, unmanned systems generally require direct human interaction at a close range for network configuration and control. This research examines methods to increase the standoff distance for network operators working in hazardous environments by employing unmanned systems and communications equipment in the construction and deployment of a self-moving network infrastructure. Through several phases of experimentation, we demonstrate that selected unmanned ground vehicles and communications equipment can be successfully integrated to construct and mobilize tactical networks for special operations teams.
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