Northrop Grumman To Develop Battlefield Airborne Communication Node

Jun 23, 2005

Northrop Grumman has been selected by the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center to develop and integrate an airborne communications relay and information server that will provide warfighters with critical battle information.

Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) will provide a bridge for linking communications among legacy radios and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems for U.S. Department of Defense networks.

"BACN's ability to translate and share data from all battlefield communications channels using Internet protocols will resolve interoperability problems, provide warfighters with a predictive battle-space-awareness capability and give commanders greater flexibility and faster response time in executing the theater air plan," said Barry Rhine, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector's Defense Mission Systems business unit.

The Northrop Grumman team won the $25.7 million, 17-month contract by integrating the technology and experience of four Northrop Grumman sectors - Mission Systems, Space Technology, Integrated Systems and Information Technology - and its government and industry partners.

The win leverages Northrop Grumman's leadership in network-centric operations and will provide low-risk technology insertion of the Common Link Integration Processing (CLIP) and JTRS capabilities.

The Defense Microelectronics Activity awarded the contract under its Advanced Technology Support Program. The program is designed to give the government access to a broad range of technologies, capabilities and expertise it can rapidly apply to improve the operational readiness of fielded Defense Department systems.

The Northrop Grumman team will develop an aerospace-networking payload composed of Internet protocol-based radios, Gateway Manager, software-defined radios and Advanced Information Architecture (AIA), which will be managed by an airborne executive processor. Northrop Grumman developed the Gateway Manager and AIA.

During the demonstration the payload will be carried aboard a NASA WB-57 aircraft, which was selected because of its unique high-altitude flight capabilities. The experiment will assess the ability to adapt BACN capabilities to unmanned air vehicles, including Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk.

The Northrop Grumman team will demonstrate BACN's capabilities during Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment '06 (JEFX) in the spring of 2006.

"The BACN demonstration during JEFX '06 will showcase the ability to provide an Internet protocol-based airborne network infrastructure," said Mike Twyman, vice president of the Mission Systems sector's Communication and Information Systems business unit.

"BACN will provide digital and voice communications relay and information services to systems connected to the airborne network, and will close capability gaps in theater air planning and dynamic execution, use of Internet protocol for tactical networking, fusion of information for predictive battlespace awareness and interoperability with homeland security and homeland defense organizations."

The Northrop Grumman team includes the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas; Raytheon Solipsys, Laurel, Md.; L3 Communications, Salt Lake City; Vanu, Cambridge, Mass.; Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and ViaSat, Carlsbad, Calif.

Integration will be performed at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems' facility in San Diego, Calif.

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Latest in food-track tech: Swipe a code, meet your fisherman

Related Stories

'Slow motion at the speed of light'

Mar 02, 2015

New technology developed by a collaboration between the UA and the University of California, Los Angeles, provides real-time monitoring of streaming video to optimize network traffic.

SMAP satellite extends 5-meter reflector boom

Feb 27, 2015

Like a cowboy at a rodeo, NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), has triumphantly raised its "arm" and unfurled a huge golden "lasso" (antenna) that it will soon ...

NASA selects space launch system advanced booster proposals

Jul 16, 2012

NASA has selected six proposals to improve the affordability, reliability and performance of an advanced booster for the Space Launch System (SLS). The awardees will develop engineering demonstrations and risk reduction concepts ...

Recommended for you

Yik Yak's frat-bro founders shrug off growing pains

5 hours ago

The most popular post of all time on Yik Yak is a dirty joke. Less than 2 years old, the Atlanta-based social network is geared mostly toward college students who access and post unsigned announcements through an app on their ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.