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Integrated Systems - News

Cassidian’s Mobile IP Node to improve communication technology

Mobile IP (Internet Protocol) Node is a research and technology programme from Cassidian being demonstrated at DSEi 2011 that will improve the ability of military and emergency response services to communicate using voice, data and video wide variety of operational scenarios including counter terror or post-natural disaster.

Existing communication technology employed by military and emergency services consists of radios that operate using wireless bearers over multiple networks. During peak traffic times or in extreme weather conditions these networks can become congested, restricting the flow of traffic and impeding operations. Mobile IP Node takes a holistic view of all routes from sender to audience whilst considering external conditions, message file size, priority, security level and physical location. It then uses decision engines to select the optimum route based on user defined parameters. Mobile IP Node - as with any IP based wireless bearer - can be used from Satcom to VHF down to HF radio.

The Node itself does not have radio capability built-in but optimises and maintains a wireless network seamlessly without technical intervention. Users can be confident that a message will reach its intended audience regardless of the scenario. In the case of streaming video or other messages that use large volumes of bandwidth, file size can be downscaled automatically or manually to guarantee message delivery for the first time in the history of secure wireless communication. Based on network quality, the solution can drop file size further by sending still images or just audio. Once network quality improves, the message can be further optimised to return it to a larger size, to yield better quality information.

The current version of Mobile IP Node is housed in a case roughly the size of a box of cereal measures 90 x 320 x 200 mm, and is truly mobile in comparison to previous offerings in the market. Being completely wire-less the device will easily fit one into a vehicle, opening up possibilities such as a virtual black box - allowing aircraft to send flight data to a remote hub for storage, or sending and receiving new or updated mission data whilst vehicles are in transit. The next version is the size of a standard hardback book and weighs 1.3 kg opening the potential for further capabilities.

Cyber security is now essential for the modern military and emergency response services solution, so Mobile IP Node incorporates a variant of the most up to date encryption technology as a programmable security layer that allows the user to tailor the complexity of encryption based on their requirements.

Dr Mark Bentall, CTO of Cassidian commented: "The strength of Mobile IP Node is that it combines network mobility, security and quality of service delivery in a highly integrated functional package. We have designed it to remove complexity from the user and reduce the need for communication planning. A Mobile IP Node based system can provide high levels of trusted communications without the need for skilled operators or users - they can simply send a message and know that the system will efficiently deliver it. Users will have network access and bandwidth on demand whilst supporting common IP based protocols."

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