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DARPA's Mobile Ad Hoc Interoperability Network Gateway Overcomes Tech Barrier

 
December 20, 2013
By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor
 

Technical incompatibilities have long been a problem for military communication for deployed forces, however DARPA's Mobile Ad hoc Interoperability Network Gateway (News - Alert) (MAINGATE) program is helping overcome a large technology barrier.


Up until recently, communications between systems hindered information sharing, however MAINGATE provides two advanced technologies to provide a reliable, interoperable network for connecting current and future forces from the tactical edge. The first technology is MAINGATE's high capacity wireless IP network (WIPN) radio, which provides a terrestrial "Everything over IP" backbone with ample capacity to support multiple channels of voice, video and data.

"MAINGATE is designed to be a potent communications force multiplier for joint and combined forces," said Keith Gremban, DARPA program manager in a statement to the press. "From a radio perspective, MAINGATE allows coalition forces to plug in their own radio systems and MAINGATE takes the necessary steps so everyone can communicate in real time."

DARPA has been developing MAINGATE since 2008, and various elements of the technology have already made their way into existing U.S. Army systems. It is designed to accommodate upgrades with future technologies, so that the system stays current.

Richer communications that combine voice, video, chat, Web collaboration and desktop application sharing are becoming more common in business; that much we’ve known for a while. The same is true in the military — at least, in certain enclaves that have deployed the required network upgrades.

IP in the military, just like it does in business, comes with quite a few benefits. There is less equipment to deploy and maintain because separate voice and data circuits will be unnecessary, and there are improved capabilities for multimode communication and collaboration.

"We're transitioning a proven capability that can be kept up to date with the latest IP technology standards," Gremban said. "Just as a smartphone offers the capability to do more than make phone calls, MAINGATE is much more than a radio-it's a backbone architecture enabling video, data and voice sharing among a diversity of networks and devices."




Edited by Blaise McNamee
 
 
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