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Evaluation of a Multihop Airborne IP Backbone with Heterogeneous Radio Technologies

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5 Author(s)
Bow-Nan Cheng ; Lincoln Lab., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Lexington, MA, USA ; Charland, R. ; Christensen, P. ; Veytser, L.
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In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the US Department of Defense to build an on-demand airborne network for communications relay utilizing high-capacity, long-range military radio systems. While these systems operate well in a network of homogeneous systems, platforms generally employ multiple heterogeneous radio systems making internetworking difficult due to varying radio characteristics and lack of interoperability. Although simulations and emulation tests can provide a baseline for how systems will perform in a controlled environment, field tests are crucial to demonstrate capabilities in real-world operating environments. In this paper, we present measurement results from a field test involving two airborne platforms forming a dynamically routed aerial IP backbone over 200 nautical miles with various radio systems as part of the C4ISR on-the-move 2010 exercise. We present measurement results on per link performance, radio-to-router interface performance, and multihop network performance results with prototype software on open source platforms. Additionally, key lessons learned and recommendations are given.

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Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 2 )