Proceedings Paper"A Fiberoptic Local-Area-Network Solution For Tactical Command And Control Systems"
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This paper examines key network requirements for the elements of distributed tactical command and control system. System concepts are evolved that support implementation solutions with emphasis on advanced technologies. Mobile command and control elements of ground and air forces are becoming more vulnerable in an ever increasing threat environment. This vulnerability is caused by the employment of these elements in a manner characterized by functional and physical centralization. A command and control unit typically consists of a centralized operations center surrounded by closely clustered communications and surveillance equipments. Because these elements have different deployment and employment requirements, the command and control unit is not optimized in terms of survivability, mobility, effectiveness, and operational flexibility. In recent years, convincing arguments have been put forth to the effect that distributed operations centers, redundantly structured communication functions, and netted surveillance systems can provide the necessary attributes to be effective in the advanced threat environment. Current technology does not meet the requirements of such a system. A local area network provides a power interconnection mechanism for the distributed elements of the command and control system. The requirements are for a rapid, efficient, and reliable means of transferring voice and data communications between elements. The topology of such a network must primarily consider survivability and reliability of communications interchanges with special emphasis on continued operations under degraded conditions. When such conditions occur, e.g., the result of combat attrition, a complete command and control capability should remain even though it may be at somewhat of a reduced capacity. The interconnection medium for the local area network should be immune to external disruptions, e.g., EMI, EMP, or C3CM, and should have a wide transmission bandwidth with a minimum propagation delay. This logically suggests a fiber optics medium. A universal fiber optics interface device is, therefore, required to provide access to a wide variety of users. Such a device must feature a number of advanced fiber optic technologies to make possible a flexible, survivable, high speed bus medium. (This bus is envisioned to be a synchronous time division multiplexed bus.) Based on tradeoffs between the operational and network requirements, the performance of the fiber optical local area network can be assessed.