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Challenges and proposals for WiMAX-based military hybrid communications networks

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2 Author(s)
Luis Bastos ; NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), PO Box 174, 2501CD, The Hague, Netherlands ; Hermann Wietgrefe

Mission-critical, converged networks in support of NATO operations demand hybrid and secure transmission systems that are based on optical media and wireless transmission systems. The Hybrid Extension Module (HEM) Prototype implements a NATO C3 Agency (NC3A) concept for future Deployable Headquarter (DHQ) communications infrastructure in support of NATO Response Force (NRF) and expeditionary operations. WiMAX has long been identified as the candidate Internet Protocol-converged (IP) wireless technology for deployable Headquarter (DHQ) networks. NC3A has tested the HEM Prototype as a proof-of-concept demonstrator and test-bed in various scenarios. In different occasions, the validity of the hybrid nature of the network, the performance of WiMAX, the information security aspects, the self-organization mechanisms of the hybrid network, and the deployability aspects of the concept were challenged. This paper provides the description of a long series of revisions to the initial concepts and designs, which stemmed from tests and from the experience gained with the deployment of the Prototype. It also addresses with detail a revised concept of operations, together with the description of the new, optimized system design. A particular focus is devoted to improvements in communications security and in WiMAX capacity.

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Date of Conference:

Oct. 31 2010-Nov. 3 2010