The U.S. Navy has signed on SCALABLE Network Technologies as part of efforts to model underwater communications. The Navy has awarded SCALABLE a $1.5-million Phase II.5 contract, including options, as part of the Forward-Deployed-Energy and Communications Outpost (FDECO) Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) project. The award is for development of a FDECO integrated simulator (FINS) based on SCALABLE’s Joint Network Emulator (JNE)/EXata modeling capabilities.
As part of the contract, SCALABLE will enhance existing and develop new channel and communications models as part of a library of models for underwater communications. The operating environment supports extremely limited bandwidths, and so these communications models will enable operating in what are known as disrupted, disconnected, intermittent, limited-bandwidth (D-DIL) conditions. SCALABLE has been tasked with the development of a modular outpost model to support different communications nodes as part of the contract.
Jeff Weaver, vice president of engineering for SCALABLE Network Technologies, detailed the importance of the contract in developing communications for naval unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs): “UUVs are a low-cost surveillance and communication option that is finding increased use in commercial and military applications. One of the most important aspects of the underwater environment is communication for command and control of UUVs and other assets and the timely, secure transfer of sensor data.
“As part of the project,” Weaver continued, “SCALABLE will support modeling and communications envisaged in the FDECO program for risk mitigation, configuration management, network operations, and mission planning, which will help the Navy to develop capabilities to assure FDECO-supported missions.”