MAINGATE system doubles the size of competing vehicular radio networks while exceeding Army requirements
In anticipation of the next critical phase of the U.S. Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE), Raytheon Company completed a series of tests that showed that its vehicular radio system maintained large-scale networks, without the need for fixed infrastructure. At the same time, the system delivered key capabilities such as voice, text and full motion video to the battlefield, an essential attribute of the mid-tier network that the Army will be evaluating at the NIE this fall.
During testing, Raytheon linked 43 radios, or nodes, in a constant, continuous network, delivering seamless network capability, even in hilly, urban terrain that often causes other networks to break apart. Raytheon’s Mobile Ad hoc Interoperability Network Gateway (MAINGATE) provided industry-leading data rates that enable soldiers to simultaneously view multiple full motion video streams and engage in chat sessions. They can also hold voice conversations and download high resolution images from drones and other sources.
“The experience from more than 20 years of deploying networked communications in theater ensures user requirements are understood,” said Jeff Miller, director of Tactical Communication Systems for Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems business.
“MAINGATE is affordable, easy to use and scalable, from the 43 nodes that were tested, up to 128 nodes in a single network. MAINGATE is the highest performing system available to the Army today, with an unmatched network capacity in excess of 10 megabits per second, which lets a soldier view at least 27 videos at the same time,” Miller added.
Another feature of MAINGATE is the ability to quickly start up and establish the network, with average network formation time of less than three minutes from a cold start. Other networks can take up to 20 minutes.
MAINGATE is in production with 200 units deployed in theater. It is composed of a high-throughput radio that uses the Next Generation Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Waveform (NMW) that was recently provided to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Tactical Radio System library.
NMW is recognized by the government as an open, non-proprietary waveform, which is something the Army is looking for in its radios. NMW is the only wideband waveform today that is offered royalty-free to industry.
June 12, 2012