Army network test to include virtual extension

Software tool will expand the size of radio networks for upcoming exercise

The Army plans to use a virtual software tool to extend the range of the Joint Tactical Radio System network scheduled for testing at the Network Integration Evaluation in June at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The JTRS Network Emulator (JNE) scheduled as part of the exercise is a software-based system that can simulate and support an operating communications system in real time. 

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Developed by Scalable Network Technologies, JNE can emulate and back up an array of waveforms such as the Wideband Networking Waveform, Soldier Radio Waveform, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, Link-16, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, Enhanced Position Location and Reporting System and Internet Controller. For the exercise, the JNE will be used to represent a part of the JTRS network. It will be used to increase the size of the network’s physical JTRS equipment and to test the system for load capacity and performance issues, said Rajive Bagrodia, Scalable’s CEO.

The JNE also can be used as an assessment tool to test the availability of applications, waveforms and systems. It can run software and hardware through mission rehearsals and transmit communications traffic across a network to allow operators to view the end-to-end performance of the architecture, he said.

In addition to being able to transmit and simulate voice, video and data, the JNE also can simulate communications in a variety of environments, from open desert to dense urban settings with varying levels of reliability. “It is real, or is it JNE?” Bagrodia asked.

The Joint Program Executive Office for JTRS recently awarded Scalable an independent Small Business Innovative Research Phase III indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract  to provide and improve JNE for use by Defense Department agencies and programs.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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