Wireless comms system gets production OK

July 25, 2011 at 8:17 AM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 25 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman's deployable digital wireless system has been approved for production by the U.S. Air Force following environmental and operational testing.

The Theater Deployable Communications Wireless Distribution Module provides a line-of-sight extension of a local area network and a radio-frequency link extension of local Internet Protocol-based traffic to rapidly distribute network capability to tactical warfighters in remote areas.

A total of 140 WDM suites are entering production for the Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

The operational test demonstrated the WDM in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint modes of operation at distances and rates not previously achieved, the company said.

"The successful completion of first article testing brings the next-generation of wireless networking one step closer to the warfighter," said Claude Hashem, vice president and general manager of the company's Network Communications Systems business at Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector.

"WDM extends expeditionary communications and information to remote users over greater distances, with more bandwidth, and in a smaller and lighter package, enabling the Air Force to be more effective in achieving its mission."

WDM is a new component of the Air Force's TDC, a ground-to-ground communications infrastructure that transmits and receives voice, data and video communications securely, to or from wireless, satellite or hard-wired sources.

It is designed to communicate information rapidly and securely to achieve interoperability between Air Force, joint and coalition elements throughout the theater and "reach-back" command-and-control centers via Defense Information Systems Network core services, Defense Switched Network, Non-secure Internet Protocol Network and Secure Internet Protocol Network.

The TDC system is mobile and modular. The equipment is packaged in kits and modules that are installed, transported and operated from transit cases and can be tailored to meet specific mission needs.

WDM consists of a single radio that operates in both the commercial and NATO frequency bands.

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