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GCN : April 2013
BROADBAND CASE STUDY 28 GCN APRIL 2013 • GCN.COM Testing the network also is fairly inex- pensive, Hollingsworth said, "as we are riding the coattail of cellular commercial R&D investments." LTE, usually referred to as 4G LTE, is a standard for high-speed communica- tions among mobile devices, and trans- mits data at around 100 megabits/sec, fast enough to handle images and videos as well as voice and text. (The official LTE specification designates downlink peak rates of 300 megabits/sec and up- link peak rates of 75 megabits/sec.) In 2012, police in Florida tested a dedicat- ed LTE network to handle security dur- ing the Republican National Convention. Emergency response teams in the Denver area also are using LTE for a public safety network. TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY NAVAIR selected Oceus Networks for the pilot because of its experience with 4G communications. "At the beginning of the program," Hollingsworth said, "Oceus Networks had several things go- ing for it." It was the only U.S. equip- ment provider that had passed MIL-STD 461 Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing, and it is set to complete Joint In- teroperability Test Command (JITC) test- ing to gain connections to government networks. The company also packaged its products "in a scalable architecture from a transit case to a backpack-sized family of solutions," he said. Oceus Networks CEO Doug Smith said the company's R&D team has been working to modify 4G technologies into smaller, lighter form factors. The "LTE technology that most commercial pro- viders now offer brings tremendous ca- pabilities," he said. Having the ability to get high-defini- tion video from remote sensors at the front lines quite simply can save lives. With the WWAN in place, the sailors and Marines who are equipped with An- droid-based smart phones can have ac- cess to voice, text and video communica- tions between ships and remote sensors aboard the helicopters up to 20 nautical miles away. Now that the final phase of testing is complete, the Navy plans to take the two ships to the Persian Gulf to help with anti-piracy efforts there. "The air node will allow them to have a mobile air net- work. We want to test that for anti-piracy missions," said Doug Abbotts, a spokes- man for NAVAIR. "The air node in the helicopter goes over the suspected pirate and the people who are advancing on the pirates, so they can shoot video through sensors. That video can be transferred to the ship via the network or transmitted to a patrol boat responding to a pirate attack." Whether the implementation as it cur- rently stands will be used by the rest of the Navy's ships remains to be seen. Even though testing is officially complete, the truth is the final test is its performance in the course of live operations. "The Navy is looking at the value of the capability, and, while it is very prom- ising, it is too early to say how quickly this will be fielded," Hollingsworth said. "NAVAIR's goal was to prove that over- laying LTE on the Navy's tactical and operational architecture was feasible and that LTE is viable in the shipboard environment." • SHIP-TO-SHIP STREAMING: HOW IT WORKS 1 2 3 LEGEND SATCOM Point-to-point 4G LTE Relay stations on each ship link to communications satellites to set up secure network. 1 The secure network is reinforced by point-to-point con- tact when ships are in line-of-sight. Each ship e ective- ly becomes a 4G LTE relay tower that allows personnel on the ship to have broadband communications with any other device in the network. 2 Real-time LTE video streaming is possible via air nodes mounted on a helicopter. 3