Army seeking air-to-ground network integration systems

By Jaspreet Gill / August 1, 2019 at 3:20 PM

The Army is accepting white papers for systems to support air-to-ground network integration.

The request stems from a technical exchange meeting in May that discussed "integrated tactical network (ITN) experimentation and design decisions still to be made for Capability Set 21," the first increment of network modernization.

For one, the service is "interested in emerging resilient, scalable mesh networking technologies that can enable complex sensor-to-sensor and sensor-to-platform communications," according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.

The notice states that some of the aerial relays should be capable of being launched from aerial platforms, which the service calls "air-launched effects," and the new capability should allow for rapid technology insertion across several platforms.

The Army is also looking for "flexible ancillaries" that "reduce the burden of integrating a ground radio into U.S. Army aviation platforms," such as "low-noise, broad-spectrum amplifiers; broad-spectrum high-gain antennas optimized for aviation; integrated commanded filtering and tuning; and very low-loss [radio frequency] cabling and connectors."

The Future Vertical Lift cross-functional team wants to know the cost to produce a "digital clone" to advance future Army aviation efforts, according to the notice. The digital clone would "field capabilities faster, burn down engineering time, reduce integration efforts, require fewer test activities, mitigate risks and rapidly incorporate new technologies."

The project manager for tactical radio is interested in a common cryptography card that can be used by "multiple waveform cards to enable the deployment and realization of secure, Type 1 and [sensitive but unclassified] waveforms." The notice states the card should provide open systems interfaces.

Finally, the program executive office for aviation is instituting "an aviation platform mission system digital backbone," which will be the "gateway" to "all platform sensor, mission, communications, navigation and data."

The Army is looking for commercial-off-the-shelf and non-developmental systems. White papers are due by August 30.