Printer Friendly

Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio.

Information dominance at the tactical battle edge has long been the viewed as one of the critical force multipliers of militaries seeking to give their respective forces an overwhelming tactical advantage in every situation. From Lee's lack of information at Gettysburg to the inability of command and control assets to rapidly pass information to forces on the ground in Somalia, United States military history is replete with examples where the lack of real-time information influenced the battle. The U.S. military's search for a product that provides information dominance at the tactical battle edge is yielding results as the restructured Joint Tactical Radio System's Ground Mobile Radios product line begins phase two of its development life cycle. This phase of GMR's development cycle includes field experimentation, development of production representative GMR systems, and formal field testing.

The GMR product will drastically alter the current capability landscape at the tactical battle edge. With the GMR, the individual Soldier will have access to simultaneous video, data and voice information via the concurrent operation of multiple channels (each of which can be set at a different classification level if the mission requires) on a single GMR set. Additionally, the GMR will provide warfighters with multi-channel routing and retransmission via four channels of same classification voice and data routing and retransmission.

The warfighter will have the option to use multiple configurations of six different waveforms that can be preloaded on the GMR. The waveforms include the new Wideband Networking Waveform, the new Soldier Radio Waveform, the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System Waveform, the Single Channel Ground Air Radio System Waveform, the High Frequency Waveform and the Ultra High Frequency Satellite Communications Waveform. The WNW and the SRW will provide the warfighter with scaleable networking services via their capability to be reconfigured and inter-networked.

WNW and SRW provide standards based interoperability. This gives the warfighter the ability to extend the information network in a dynamic and ad-hoc manner. GMR, via four channels capable of routing and retransmitting information, will solve the frustrating and sometimes deadly failure of legacy communications devices to interoperate. The WNW and the SRW are IP-based networking waveforms and will therefore support all user traffic allowing voice, video, and data to be passed in both secure and non-secure modes.

The GMR employs an open systems architecture that is modular, scaleable and flexible. GMR is a Software Communications Architecture compliant system in which all waveform attributes are programmable. The GMR system consists of multiple Line Replaceable Units which are partitioned to maximize flexibility for the warfighter.

The programmable nature of this software defined radio combined with the flexible LRU design make the GMR a highly reconfigurable radio in the operating environment. The GMR radio will provide the warfighter with full spectrum coverage in the 2 MHz to 2 GHz range. Finally, the GMR will support connection to the Global Information Grid and will provide Quality of Service protocols via the WNW and the SRW. The GMR will deliver information dominance to the battle's edge.

The JTRS GMR (originally JTRS Cluster 1) contract was awarded to an industry team led by Boeing in 2002. The first of many JTRS programs which would later follow, the Cluster 1 program's goal was high technology software and hardware development to produce a highly capable, transformational communications system for the Department of Defense.

Software and hardware integration challenges and emerging GIG-based security certification concerns plagued the Cluster 1 program and resulted in schedule delays and cost overruns. In early 2005 the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics ordered a partial Stop Work on the Cluster 1 program, appointed a Joint Program Executive Officer for the JTRS Enterprise, aligned all existing JTRS programs under the JTRS JPEO, directed the JTRS JPEO to conduct an assessment of all JTRS programs (Cluster 1, Cluster 2, Cluster 5, AMF, and MIDS-J) and directed the JPEO to provide a recommendation for realignment of all JTRS programs to deliver an achievable and affordable product to the Department of Defense.

The JPEO's assessment resulted in numerous recommendations, including narrowing and focusing all JTRS requirements to provide prioritized capabilities to the DoD, developing a revolutionary JTRS Enterprise business model which allows the government and industry to team in order to develop and use the best technology for software defined radios while encouraging a diverse industrial base to compete for hardware production business, and streamlining the sometimes burdensome government acquisition process in order to deliver capability to the warfighter in a more efficient and timely manner. Senior DoD leadership approved the JPEO's recommendations, and the JTRS enterprise and the DoD acquisition community moved quickly in a cooperative fashion to prioritize service requirements in an Operational Requirements Document and provide funding to the JPEO for the development of the respective JTRS product lines in accordance with the ORD requirements.

The newly renamed GMR program (formerly Cluster 1) restarted work and focused on the delivery of a capability aligned with the prioritized requirements. The maturity of the pre-engineering development model radios continued to improve and in 2006 the GMR program began delivery of these systems to the future combat system for use in FCS experimentation and testing. All fifty of the initial JTRS GMR Pre-EDM systems ordered by FCS have now been delivered on or ahead of schedule. The systems have been integrated, and are in use, on FCS platforms and in laboratory workstations at numerous locations around the country including, White Sands Missile Range in N.M.; Boeing Laboratories in Huntington Beach and Anaheim, Calif.; the Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Rockwell Collins Laboratories in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and in BAE Laboratories in Wayne, N.J. These early models of the GMR are demonstrating the leap-ahead capability that was envisioned when DoD leadership conceived the JTRS idea many years ago.

The early version of the new cutting edge networking waveform, the WNW, is already demonstrating the capability to simultaneously run nine different applications (Netmeeting, Netmeeting Chat, Netmeeting Whiteboard, Netmeeting File Transfer [File Transfer Protocol], Speak Freely [Voice over Internet Protocol], Webcam Transmit [VideoLAN Client], Webcam Receive [VLC], Streaming Video Transmit [VLC] and Logger) and is achieving a total throughput of 1MB per second point to-point. The EDM phase of the program will increase the total throughput to 2MB per second for a point-to-point capability. The GMR is interoperating with legacy SINCGARS radios as well as the developing SLICE (precursor to the SRW) waveform. The GMR is demonstrating continually improving stability in both laboratory and field environments. Voice quality and data transmission completion rates are equal to, or better than, legacy systems. Finally, in a demonstration of the tremendous technology leap GMR provides, the GMR recently demonstrated a first for any DoD radio program; the simultaneous operation of four waveforms on a software defined radio. The four waveforms demonstrated simultaneously were EPLRS, WNW, SINCGARS data, and SINCGARS voice.

GMR set is being tested with ever-increasing vigor and demonstrating consistently increasing capability. Synchronized with the FCS test program the GMR is supporting FCS experimentation and testing en route to the delivery of FCS Spin Out 1. Upon receipt of security certification of the GMR at the conclusion of the GMR product line's Limited User Test in April of 2010, the GMR will be poised to enter its Multi-Service Operational Test and Evaluation.

Lee lost his opportunity to potentially influence the outcome of the Civil War at Gettysburg because he lacked information. U.S. forces on the ground in Somalia could not get timely information regarding their exfiltration route and suffered tremendous casualties as a result. Information dominance at the tactical battle edge is an unquantifiable force multiplier. As the Army begins fielding the GMR after the conclusion of GMR's MOT&E, the warfighter will benefit from the provision of real-time, multi-dimensional information that will allow commanders and warfighters to shape, fight, and win the battle.

LTC Mason is the product manager for the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radios Program. Mason holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy and a Master of Science Degree from Saint Mary's University.

Acronym QuickScan

AMF--Airborne, Maritime, Fixed

DoD--Department of Defense

EDM--Engineering Development Model

EPLRS--Enhanced Position Location Reporting System

FCS--Future Combat System

FTP--File Transfer Protocol


GIG--Global Information Grid

GMR--Ground Mobile Radios

HF--High Frequency

IAW--In Accordance With

IP--Internet Protocol

JPEO--Joint Program Executive Officer

JTRS--Joint Tactical Radio System

LRU--Line Replaceable Units

LUT--Limited User Test


MIDS-J--Multi-functional Information Distribution System--JTRS

MOT&E--Multi-Service Operational Test and Evaluation

ORD--Operational Requirements Document

Pre-EDM--Pre-Engineering Development Model

SATCOM--Satellite Communications

SCA--Software Communications Architecture

SINCGARS--Single Channel Ground Air Radio System

SRW--Soldier Radio Waveform

UHF--Ultra High Frequency

U.S.--United States

USD AT&L--Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

VLC--VideoLAN Client

VoIP--Voice over Internet Protocol

WNW--Wideband Networking Waveform
COPYRIGHT 2007 U.S. Army Signal Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:TCM-TR
Author:Mason, Bill
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Previous Article:Network Service Center-Regional: not a place.
Next Article:5th Signal Command conduct change of command ceremony.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters