WIRELESS INTEROPERABILITY IN THE NATO LAND TACTICAL ENVIRONMENT

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24 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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WIRELESS INTEROPERABILITY IN THE NATO LAND TACTICAL
ENVIRONMENT


Filip Szczucki and Michael Street

NATO C3 Agency

P.O. Box 174

2501 CD, The Hague,

Netherlands

Email:
Filip.Szczucki@nc3a.nato.int
;
Michael.Street@nc3a.nato.int




ABSTRACT

Future NATO Network Enabled Capability is
increasing the requirement to communicate, while
changing force concepts are increasing the need
for mobility and require int
eroperability between
lower echelons than before.

This paper outlines
work on

a

NATO wireless
architecture for
the
tactical land environment
,

w
hich here
focus
es

on the operational view. The
A
rchitecture
will determine the
requisite
capabilities
of
future
wireless communication
systems
within NATO and

member
nations
.

INTRODUCTION

Historically, NATO did not address CIS
requirements in the wireless land tactical
domain
.

In the Cold War era,
no
interoperability between national ground
forces of NATO allies wa
s required at tactical
level due to the well
-
defined areas of
geographic
responsibility. The boundaries at
which communications became primarily
wireless rather than wired were found below
the level at which NATO responsibility gave
way to national authori
ty. Therefore, any

tactical radio
communications existed wholly
within a national wireless network. Where
external communications were necessary they
would normally be routed via the Chain of
Command and respective HQs using wired
networks.


More recently,

interoperability in the
l
and
t
actical
d
omain has been supported by
STANAG 5048, where
the Lead Nations
are
required to prov
ide their own CIS capabilities,
plus access to those
CIS
capabilities to the
immediate levels of the co
mmand chain.


While this appr
oach was applicable in
former times, the changing nature of NATO
and NATO
-
led operations means that the
above model no longer matches current
operational requirements.
Rec
ent operations
involve forces which are more mobile, where
the requirement to exchang
e information has
increased significantly and where national
contributions are smaller. The latter pushes the
need for inter
-
national interoperability down to
a much lower level than was previously
necessary. Evolving NATO and coalition
operational require
ments and force structures,
coupled with the move towards NNEC,
therefore require NATO and nations to
enhance wireless interoperability. As a result,
efficient interoperable wireless
communications within the mobile,
network
-
enabled
,

land tactical environm
ent is
now a pressing demand which needs to be
addressed.

NATO
WIRELESS ARCHITECTUR
E

FOR LAND TACTICAL EN
VIRONMENT

As a result of the issues above, a wireless
architecture
has been in
development
,
involving

the NATO C3 Board,
NATO
commands and the NATO C3
Agency. Th
e

A
rchitecture seeks to extend the Networked
Information Infrastructure (NII) necessary for
NNEC from the fixed domain into the wireless
domain. It will
be
standards
-
based
, to allow
interoperability between nations at lower
levels. The
A
rchitectu
re aims at utilising
those
NATO
STANAGs

which
will
meet future
requirements and it attempts to identify the
areas where more work is necessary
,

e.g. high
capacity waveforms and ad
-
hoc networking.

The
A
rchitecture

will include four essential
elements:



Oper
ational View

The Operational View of the Architecture
presents a general picture of the network,
including all nodes and information flows.



Systems View

The Systems View identifies the systems
that need to be utilized to provide required
connectivity.



Tech
nical View

The Technical View adds the physical
constraints and limitations to the picture. It
helps arrive at the technical requirements for
the future systems.



Security view

The security view identifies the security
domains, boundaries and protection
mec
hanisms.


The NATO wireless architecture will
address the following aspects:



radio access to the transmission medium
at the air interface;



interconnection of wireless to fixed
networking and information infrastructure
(NII);



routing within wireless network
s;



time
ly transmission of data through
wireless links and networks;



efficient use of available spectrum;



security mechanisms covering both
TRANSEC and COMSEC where
applicable;



interoperation with civil organisations
through support for appropriate civil
wi
reless standards.


The NATO wireless architecture will
determine the capabilities that need to be
provided by future wireless communication
equipment within NATO and nations.

The
A
rchitecture will contribute to NATO
activity in the development of future
wa
veforms and mobile ad
-
hoc networking, and
their implementation through technologies
such as softwa
re defined radio. It will
comple
ment other NATO architectures that
deal with fixed and deployable communication
systems where the network nodes
and the
connec
tions between them
are static.

CAPTURING THE REQUIR
EMENTS

Since much tactical activity has historically
fallen below the level of NATO responsibility
there are few explicitly stated requi
rements
from the NATO commands. More information
was needed to
better

comprehend the full
extent of requirements for future operations.

A requirements capture workshop has
therefore
been conducted
with the participation
of o
perational commanders, planners,
CIS
providers and operators within NATO and
member
nations
.
Hypothet
ical requirements
were drawn from the scenarios and vignettes
defined f
or the NNEC
F
easibility
S
tudy
.
Focussing on the communications
capabilitie
s
which would be provided by wireless
mechanisms led to an initial derivation of
information exchange requireme
nts, coupled
with additional
factors
such as the rang
e,
security and requisite interconnection
.

The information exchange types, QoS
categories and data throughput levels
presented during the workshop have been
included in Tables 1,2 and 3, respectively.


Table
1
.
Information exchange types

Type

Characteristics

Voice and
video

Real
-
time, some resilience to errors,
unpredictable traffic patterns

Blue force
tracking

Small, regular messages with some
time
-
relevance.

Targeting

Timeli
ness, authenticity, robustness

Core
service

E
-
mail, photographs, maps etc.
Higher data quantity, lower
timeliness requirements.

Functional
service

Database access or replication.
Timeliness and data quantities
dependent on FS being utilised.

Table
2
.

Quality of service categories

QoS

Characteristics

1

Real
-
time

2

Non
-
real
-
time, but time
-
critical

3

Non
-
real
-
time. Lower priority.

4

Best effort




Table
3
.
Data throughput levels

Throughput

Characteristic
s

High

High data levels e.g. databases, high
quality video, large files

Typical throughput over 1 Mbps

Medium

Medium data levels e.g.

Typical throughput between 64 kbps
and 512 kbps

Low

Low levels of throughput e.g. voice,
blue force tracking messages
.

Typically < 32 kbps


In order to easily ascertain key issues for
wireless communica
t
ion, the s
c
enarios
described in the text of the NNEC
F
eas
i
bility
S
tudy were
overlaid on a real geographical
environment
. The
se environments

were taken
from those used fo
r current NATO exercise
plans relevant to each scenario. Overlaying
relevant forces from the scenarios onto these
maps presented an op
erational view of the
scenario
s
.


Communication distances

Presenting fo
r
ces in this manner allows the
distances over which

forces must communicate
to be readily ap
p
reciated. The impact of terrain


which is a
crucial

element in planning for
both Allied and hostile commanders


and its
influence

on line
-
of
-
sight communication is
also clearly evident.


Density of forces

The den
sity of forces in a given area is also
apparent from such a presentation. The density
of forces, and therefore the de
n
sity of rad
i
o
platforms, may guide the suitability of
techniques involving multiple radio platforms
such as repeaters or mobile ad
-
hoc net
working

as well as spectrum management issues
.


Conclusions of the requirements capture


In order to establish the basic principles for
tactical communications the workshop agreed
that there was an absolute requirement to be
able to:




Communicate vertical
ly up and
down the command chain.



Communicate horizontally between
each level within a formation.



Communicate horizontally at each
level between adjacent formations.



Communicate horizontally and
vertically outside the chain of
command.




Figure
1
.

Required operational wireless connectivity


It was noted that these requirements would
be true regardless of the nationalities of the
forces communicating.

It was also recognised that although this
would naturally lead to a fully meshed


network, the chain of command should remain
paramount
;

deviations were considered highly
likely
and situation
-
depende
nt but operating
disciplines
ar
e essential to prevent chaos.


The IERs presented, discussed and revised
during the workshop for each of th
e nine
vignettes led to a number of recurring
requirements which can be seen in Table 4.


Table
4
.

Communication requirements by traffic type

Traffic type

Data
throughput

Security

QoS

Voice

Low

COMSEC

TRANSEC

High

Video / stream

High

COMSEC

TRANSEC

High

Blue force
tracking /
Operational
awareness

Low /
Medium

COMSEC

TRANSEC

Medium

Targeting

Low

COMSEC

TRANSEC

High

Core data
services

Medium

COMSEC

TRANSEC

Low

Functional
services

High

COMSEC

TRANSEC

Medium
-
Low


QoS reflects bo
th the timeliness of delivery,
error rate, delay jitter, reliability and resilience
required by the service.


The anticipated range of wireless
communications in most of the scenarios was
in the region of a few kilometres, with longer
ranges required for c
onnectivity back to
Brigade HQ and other forces outside the Battle
Group in question.


The requirement for widespread
communication implies a need for widespread
standardisation. Security mechanisms may be
employed to identify communities of interest.


S
UMMARY

The NATO wireless architecture for
the
land tactical environment

will have a
significant impact on the capabilities of future
radio communication system
s. The operational
view of the Architecture has already indicated
that new ways of interconnectin
g are required
in the rapidly changing tactical environment in
which NATO and the
n
ations have to operate.

Further

work on the Architecture is
going

to
determine the systems needed to fulfil the new
requirements (Systems View)
and the technical
requirement
s for the future waveforms
(Technical View).

To better cope with the

operational
environment in which NATO must operate,
,
the wireless tactical communication systems
will likely have to make use of ad
-
hoc
networking and spectrally efficient waveforms.
Empl
oy
ing such an architecture may involve
evolving methods of implementing radio
terminals and systems
-

such as those

based on
Software Defined Radio


in order to further
enhance interoperability and rapid deployment.


BIOGRAPHIES


Filip Szczucki

has worke
d on military and civil
wireless communication systems at NC3A since
2002. He
is the NC3A representative to the NATO
V/UHF Radio AHWG and technical lead for the
new G/A/G ECM resistant UHF radio
communication systems for Czech Republic,
Hungary and Poland.

He
led the
NC3A’s
analysis
of SATURN

and
contributed to the
work on
NNEC Feasibility Study
.


Michael Street

has worked on military and civil
wireless communication systems at NC3A since
1999. In the military domain he led the selection
and standardisation

of the future NATO voice
coder and is project manager for secure mobile
communications to NATO and EU peace
-
keepers
in the Balkans. In the civil domain he chairs the
ETSI TCT voice coder working group and has
worked on the military application of GSM and
PMR. He holds a Ph.D. in wireless
communications, is a chartered engineer and a
member of the IET.