Viasat – AutoNet
Enabling Adaptive Intelligent Networks for the Modern Battlespace
The aim was to develop a suite of software applications to be deployed on advanced tactical routers, which could deliver optimum communications across point to point, multiple bearers of opportunity, VSAT and other mobile technologies. The system objective being to allow deployed headquarters, command posts and other formations to manoeuvre within the network using cognitive, automated network planning.
The system should also allow isolated nodes, frontline tactical vehicles and personnel to gain ad-hoc access when they come within range of this deployed ‘Tactical Internet’.
The system’s target was to utilise CoTS (Commercial off the Shelf) hardware and apply software defined architectures to ensure background upgrades maintain the technology’s relevance and minimise system obsolescence.
Due to our extensive experience in developing networked software applications, and our close working relationship with Horsebridge Defence (later acquired by Viasat UK during the project), UniVirtua was selected to develop the AutoNet Proof of Concept (PoC).
Innovate UK (the UK’s national innovation agency) brought together the following key investors and partners for the experimental ‘AutoNet’ project to explore this challenge:
AutoNet delivered a dynamic bearer management application which assesses the network and can autonomously change the characteristics of a specific link, adapting network links from fixed infrastructure into a heterogenous and fluid network. The application is able to change frequency, waveform, modulation and other characteristics by running on top of existing network management capabilities. Configuration changes made on a single node also had the ability to propagate automatically to other nodes in the network.
The completed AutoNet POC was demonstrated to the Innovate UK adjudication panel at Lancaster University and judged a success by the Innovate UK Monitoring Officer.
UniVirtua is delighted to have delivered on such a leading-edge project, supported by world class stakeholders. The successful conclusion to the project has led to further collaborative projects with Viasat UK.