Connecting air assets involves the entire theater force
This method is in line with the overall
Rudolph also supports the Program Executive Officer (PEO) Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks (C3I&N) as CTO and chief architect, and he is a senior leader/technical adviser for integrated information capabilities. He explains that networking air assets includes domains such as terrestrial, space and cyber.
"Networking is like plumbing," Rudolph analogizes. "Most people dont hire plumbers because they like cast iron or copper [pipes]; they do it because they want to move something through the pipes." The Joint Aerial Layer Network (
The thrust toward joint airborne networking also strives to enable more cost-effective missions, Rudolph offers. "We're in even more dire circumstances now to make every node in that network the same," he says. "Our objective is, with increasingly austere budgets, a recognition of the fact that we can't put the same interface on every air platform, on every groundstation [and] on every interacting element to the battlespace. So, interoperability is a key construct."
The joint aspect of
When an element such as BACN is used in a larger aerial layer network, it becomes a node that enables effective communication between systems that originally were not designed to interoperate, Rudolph points out. On a broader scale, the JIE is very terrestrial-network-intensive, but the information environment will require the flattening of terrestrial networks and bring down costs.
Gateways and related technologies have been a strong suit of the
BACN's airborne nodes will provide direct connectivity between airborne platforms. Unlike satellite communications, BACN will streamline the information flow among warfighters, including directly to ground troops.
UAVs are a centerpiece node in BACN, Rudolph notes, describing them as "an unmanned router in the sky that not only routes information, but also can mediate or translate between different datalinks and provide some level of storage-really the connective tissue that enables the battlespace from a communications standpoint.
"Those [unmanned aerial] assets will be significantly needed as part of that glue or connective tissue in theaters of operation," he declares.
This becomes especially valuable in large theaters where anti-access/area denial may take place. "In these larger theaters ... we really do need a way to link communications between manned aircraft, ships, satellites and an unmanned aerial system," he states. "Vehicles are an opportunity to help support that broad distance approach in an antijam, antitamper way."
Among the challenges facing
For example, the
"The pace of innovation is significantly increasing, but the challenge to me has been less about technology and more about the business model and the cost model," he states.
Rudolph continues that the
He calls for striving for a culture that is more accepting of proven technologies and having confidence in them-looking at how they are more secure in many ways. This is the next horizon, he says, adding that this a different approach to moving innovation into the hands of the warfighter.
Industry needs to provide opportunities to leverage innovations, Rudolph states, in ways that would provide new usable capabilities rapidly. "There are gaps in the entire networking strategy that can range from tactical communications/satellite communications to how we're approaching cyber weapons systems-both defensive and active defense and others," Rudolph maintains. "We're working on a life cycle that can go from many years-similar to a large weapon system-to months, days or sometimes hours. We need to be agile and able to do that."
Rudolph concedes that the
"We need to take a step back and look at how those connecting capabilities can better support what our more immediate goal is for a specific capability," he suggests. Cost effectiveness, resilience, security and mission effectiveness are the key criteria, he says.
One significant ongoing change involves data centers. "The age of creating legacy data centers is over," Rudolph declares. "A great deal of networking is dedicated to connecting those data centers-a very slow and very heavyweight process for providing information." Commercial information technology can help alleviate this challenge to supporting warfighting operations.
"The core competency of the
"One of the significant aspects of the federal government is to provide the common defense-it's not to build infrastructure or to own and operate certain aspects of an enterprise environment that can be done more effectively elsewhere," Rudolph continues. He calls for harnessing commercial models and technologies as well as skill sets. The military should use proven capabilities and ensure it has these skill sets internally, he says.
"We're starting to think much more 'system of systems,' but we need to graduate to 'enterprise of enterprises'."
To share or comment on this article go to httpÿ/uri,afcea. org/12665
Most Popular Stories
- Florida Warns Beach-goers About Flesh-eating Bacteria
- Sutherland Responds to 'Unprofessional' Jibe
- LivePro Is a Mobile Hot Spot, Projector in One
- Islamic State Fights for Control of Syrian Oil Wealth
- Adrienne Bailon Disses Ex-Lover Rob Kardashian
- How to Fit Green Energy Into Your Portfolio
- U.S. Economy Grows at Fastest Pace in 10 Years
- Business Leaders Set for CHCC Convention
- Sanctions Will Hit Russia Hard if Not Lifted Quickly
- Is California Going to Land Tesla's Battery Plant?