Harris Streams Video Air-to-Air in USAF Test

The CAPSTONE II exercise was designed to validate the performance and interoperability of technologies for future military airborne communications platforms.
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Harris Corp. demonstrated the ability of its advanced Highband Networking Radio to stream video air-to-air and air-to-ground at ranges of up to 130 nautical miles and at altitudes up to 24,000 feet during a recent the U.S. Air Force exercise, the company said.

The CAPSTONE II exercise, Sept. 15-24, 2008, at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, was designed to validate the performance and interoperability of technologies for future military airborne communications platforms.

The Highband Networking Radio hosts the Harris-developed Highband Networking Waveform, which implements robust, agile, full mesh, ad hoc networks for terrestrial and airborne applications.

The Highband Networking Waveform enables autonomous selection of the best communications path, creating a self-forming, self-healing network where nodes can enter and exit without need for fixed network infrastructure or operator intervention, Harris said.

"The results of the CAPSTONE II exercise validate the capabilities of the waveform and its use for mesh networking in air-to-air and air-to-ground applications at long ranges," said Wes Covell, president of Defense Programs for Harris Government Communications Systems. "This test also is the first to demonstrate these capabilities onboard aircraft that are operationally relevant to U.S. Air Force and Navy platforms, and to show the ability to interconnect airborne platforms to the U.S. Army's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and Future Combat Systems (FCS) platforms."

During CAPSTONE II, two HNRs provided high-capacity, mobile ad hoc communications onboard the Air Force's Paul Revere aircraft and a Navy RC-12 aircraft operating over the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Two other HNR nodes were deployed at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and at Wallops Island, Virginia. It was the first time the HNR - HNW combination was used in an air- to-air application.

A Harris prototype long-range, Ku-band antenna was used to demonstrate the HNW's full mesh capability and long-range network functionality. During the test, the HNR interoperated with several different systems, including Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) and Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT), demonstrating its ability to exchange data with diverse communications systems and to co-exist on the same platforms without interference.

The Highband Networking Radio integrates directive-beam technology with mobile, ad hoc mesh networking and achieves burst data rates of up to 54 Mbps, and has been implemented on a variety of airborne platforms.

The Highband Networking Radio was co-developed with BAE Systems.

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