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november 5, 2020

Systematic demonstrates C2 over High Frequency communications network


Systematic took the opportunity of the British Army’s recent Army Warfighting Experiment 2020 to demonstrate the ability to conduct effective command-and-control over high frequency communications.

C2 data was sent from SitaWare Edge 2.0 at the tactical level to higher levels of command.

The scenario included data sent from a static observation post and a team conducting a close target reconnaissance, it demonstrated the ability to maintain a common operational picture as well as transfer more advanced information.

HF radios are being considered by many militaries as an alternative to satellite communications and UHF/VHF radios, “In a conflict with a peer or near-peer it is almost certain that your communications systems will be targeted and disrupted. Developments in HF technology are making this a viable option to delivering effective C2, albeit at lower bandwidths,” notes Woodford.

“In the scenario, we showed that it is possible to operate in the conditions that you would expect in a so-called command-and-control denied or disrupted environment, not with developmental technologies, but with operationally proven systems that are available now,” Woodford adds.

“Optimizing data exchange over limited bandwidth tactical networks is a continual focus for Systematic, and exploring how to deliver C2 in disrupted environments is only one aspect of that work.”

In a scenario that replicated a mission conducted by forward-deployed reconnaissance personnel, critical and advanced mission data was passed to higher levels of command via an in-service manpack HF radio. The information was transmitted during ‘data windows’ at scheduled times – as would be the case with typical standard operating procedures for this mission.

At the tactical level, Systematic’s SitaWare Edge 2.0 system passed data up the chain of command to SitaWare Frontline and SitaWare Headquarters.

“C2 data beyond that typically associated with HF communications was sent over a datalink with bandwidth as low as 100 kbps,” explains Andy Woodford, Domain Advisor at Systematic, “this included command layers with sketching, force tracking information, and chat messages with JPEG attachments.”

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