To extend communications for soldiers outside the range of conventional networks, Lockheed Martin has developed a mobile “network in a box.” The lightweight Whetstone® network suite allows users in remote or disconnected areas to quickly process and download mission command data. It can support all communications from small unit missions to brigade combat teams’ command post requirements.
The latest version of the network’s infrastructure has been upgraded to push terabytes of broadband data including satellite imagery, mission command data, and full motion video feeds—at rates comparable to systems four times larger. The Whetstone network suite has been tested for use in a variety of operational environments to assess its suitability, survivability, and effectiveness. It has been successfully integrated with multiple current military communications platforms including UHF/VHF Line of Sight, Enhanced Position Location Reporting Systems, Single Channel Ground, and Airborne Radio Systems. It has also proven to be compatible with Fourth Generation (4G) cellular base stations.
The platform is fully scalable and configurable to most combat and tactical vehicles. Removal and integration of the mobile network equipment from one mission to another can be completed in less than an hour. The Whetstone network suite is optimal for operations at the “tactical edge,” or at squad level with cost, space, and weight requirements that can’t sacrifice network functionality.