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New quasi LOS system provides: flexible solution to modular 3IBCT/25ID network.

Operation Iraqi Freedom presents the challenge of providing access to secure voice and large amounts of data to multi-training teams, patrol bases, and forward operating bases across the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's vast area of operation. One solution 3IBCT is employing is the Orthogon Systems: OS Spectra. This quasi line-of-sight system is used by itself or integrated into the command post network, as part of the Joint Network Transport Capabilities System, to allow commanders and MiTT leaders faster access to collaboration tools like File Transfer Protocol servers; real-time intelligence like Unmanned Aerial Vehicle feeds; and COPs like Maneuver Control System.

Currently 3IBCT has been fielded with the JNTCS and even though the JNTCS is proving itself to be a valuable C4I asset, it has limitations. The primary limitation is the amount of CPNs 3IBCT was fielded to support their operations. They simply do not have enough CPNs to maintain connectivity with the FOBs and also support the growing number of PBs and MiTTs in their AO. Another limitation is the growing need for faster access to larger amounts of data that is surpassing JNTC's bandwidth capabilities. These limitations have the 3IBCT S6 aggressively pursuing a flexible solution.

The solution came in the form of the Orthogon Systems: OS Spectra. These light weight and easily deployable terminals increased the network capabilities by providing secure voice and data connectivity to 3IBCT MiTTs and PBs; and alternate and redundant connectivity to the CPNs at the FOBs. After some optimization by the 3IBCT S6 and network integration by General Dynamics, the OS Spectra has been the flexible network solution for the 3IBCT AO.

The OS Spectra was procured by the 101st Infantry Division and transported to their MiTTs, PBs, and FOBs but was not setup or integrated into their network. It wasn't until 3IBCT, 25th ID assumed control of the 101st ID AO, that 3IBCT realized it needed to provide faster data and redundant connectivity to their MiTTs, PBs, and FOBs. In order to do this 3IBCT S6 ran a trial setup of the OS Spectra at 3IBCT S6 NOSC where it was configured, tested, and optimized, then deployed with an installation/training team to 3IBCT MiTTs, PBs, and FOBs where the OS Spectras have provided that data connectivity solution 3IBCT needed.

What makes the OS Spectra a flexible tool is its versatile configurations. The Antennae Section consists of an outdoor unit, mast, and powered indoor unit. The OS Spectra local area network section can be configured to meet the unique demands of the network. In the 3IBCT MiTT and PB configuration, where there is no CPN, the LAN section consists of a KG175 TACLANE, which tunnels Secure Internet Protocol Routing through Non-Secure IP Routing, and to two routers and two switches which control and distribute connectivity throughout the MiTT or PB. In the FOB configuration, where there is a CPN, the KG-175 TACLANE encrypts the signal coming from and to the distant end PIDU/ODU and sends it to the CPN where routing and signal distribution occur for the JNTCS and/or OS Spectra.

Compared to other network transport alternatives, the OS Spectra provides greater deployability. Depending upon how far you are from the distant end depends on how accurate your LOS shot must be. In distances under 100m the ODUs can be totally obscured from each other and still provide connectivity. In distances over 100m to 200km (maximum range) your LOS shot must be more accurate. Once ODUs are aligned it takes 15 minutes for ODUs/PIDUs to exchange MAC addresses and for i_DFS to begin. i_DFS scans the 5.8Ghz spectrum to find the channel and co-channel with the lowest level interference and uses those channels to transmit. Control of i_DFS through Spectrum Management as well as installation and diagnostic software tools are built into the PIDU/ODU and can be accessed in HTML format through web browsing software programs like Internet Explorer.

The OS Spectra is fully scalable and modular frequency quasi LOS terminal approved for broadband transmission at the 5.8Ghz license exempt band. It has been tested and currently transmits in the 3IBCT AO at an Aggregate Data Rate4 of 150.1 Mbit/s. These data rates can be controlled by the system administrator through remote access using Simple Network Management Protocol /SNMP. With the KG-175 Tactical Local Area Network Encryptor /TACLANE, the OS Spectra is capable of operating at SIPR, RIPR, and NIPR or any combination of the three classification levels or all three classification levels simultaneously.

The OS Spectra has some limitations. The main limitations come from terrain. Since the system is LOS based, depending on distance, the more mountainous the terrain the harder to achieve an LOS shot. This is not the case for the 3IBCT AO that is predominately flat and also lacks abundant foliage to hinder connectivity. Another limitation is tying into the WAN backbone. Currently all OS Spectra in 3IBCT are integrated into the JNN for WAN backbone connectivity. A final limitation is the point-to-point configuration 3IBCT is using but this can be remedied with the employment of an OS MUX that will allow one ODU at the JNN to be used as a hub for other OS Spectra spokes.

In conclusion, with the ever growing demand for access to secure voice and data in the form of collaboration tools, real-time intelligence, and the COP; as well as a need to share this large amount of data with PBs, MiTTs, FOBs, and other specialized units; 3IBCT S6 and General Dynamics have employed the use of improved LOS technology to the unique problems of their AO. The OS Spectra had proven to be a solution as either a stand alone system allowing connectivity into the network or a redundant secondary link to supplement the JNTC. 3IBCT has plans to integrate more OS Spectra links into its network as more MiTTs and PBs open up to increase the "Bronco's Hoof print."

CW2 Schultze and SGT Stalvey are currently assigned to 3IBCT/25ID where they work in the S6 Network Operations Support Center based out of FOB Warrior and are part of the OS Spectra Installation Team. Schultze was previously assigned to the 2ID-G6 where he served as a Signal systems support technician. Stalvey was previously assigned to 1IBCT/82ABN where he served as a Signal systems support specialist.

ACRONYM QUICKSCAN

3IBCT--3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

AO--Area of Operation

C4I--command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence

COP--Common Operation Pictures

CPN--Command Post Network

FOB--Forward Operating Base

FTP--File Transfer Protocol

HTML--Hyper Text Markup Language

ID--Infantry Division i_DFS--intelligent_Dynamic Frequency Selection

IP--Internet Protocol

JNN--Joint Node Network

JNTCS--Joint Network Transport Capabilities System

LAN--Local Area Network

LOS--Line Of Sight

MAC--Media Access Control

MCS--Maneuver Control System

MiTT--Multi-Training Team

MUX--multiplexer

NIPR--Non-Secure IP Routing

NOSC--Network Operations Support Center

ODU--Outdoor Unit

OIF--Operation Iraqi Freedom

PB--Patrol Base

PIDU--Powered Indoor Unit

RIPR--Releasable IP Routing

SIPR--Secure IP Routing

SNMP--Simple Network Management Protocol

TACLANE--Tactical Local Area Network Encryptor

UAV--Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

WAN--Wide Area Network
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Author:Schultze, Billy F.; Stalvey, Ashley
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:1160
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