An Australian-first software system that replaces the need to manually connect tactical radio networks on the battlefield has been unveiled by Defence ICT specialists Insitec following successful field trials in Canberra.
Insitec Founder and Managing Director Michael Branch said HIVE, developed as part of the Australian Army’s multi-million-dollar C4 EDGE collaboration, is a next generation communications and data network management system for the future of Network Centric Warfare.
The new system, developed through extensive research and testing with Australian Defence Force personnel, is designed to connect the Battlefield of Things (BoT) and enable secure, faster decision-making for effective Joint All-Domain Command and Control – "it is the glue that enables rapid and direct communication between all domain forces and Allies involved in any operation".
“The days of incompatible radio networks that are manually patched together to create inefficient, constrained networks are behind us. HIVE’s network architecture allows any node to interact with any other node on the network,” said Branch, whose company has been a trusted sovereign supplier to Australia’s Department of Defence for 20 years.
“HIVE’s operational interface, created with user-experience technology design experts fifty ZOO, is easy to use and ensures more effective and efficient command, control and communications (C3) by automatically optimising network management and performance.
“HIVE provides the ability to perform dynamic reconfiguration of interconnected networks to ensure that the commander’s intent is applied across the network’s communication systems.
“This means commanders can make quicker decisions thanks to reduced transmission latency and enhanced situational awareness. Furthermore, they can reliably and quickly communicate their orders to warfighters at the tactical edge.”
Insitec’s Military, Intelligence and Space Division (MIS) Chief Technology Officer Adam Wilson said HIVE’s Service-Oriented Architecture used situational awareness of the tactical electromagnetic environment to optimise the flow of data and communications.
“Our system is designed to constantly monitor and optimise its own performance by using all available network capacity,” said Wilson.
“For example, if a comms or data channel goes down or is overloaded by user demand, the user experiences no loss of service or data access due to the always on nature HIVE provides as an overlay network of networks, to ensure the information gets to the right person at the right time. This provides resilience, robustness and redundancy for operations.
“We were set a goal by C4 EDGE - to deliver an integrated network that provides dynamic routing and quality of services to ensure a constant and efficient information flow around the network.
“Our testing and demonstration to the Australian Army and C4 EDGE partners proves that is exactly what we have delivered.”