• TACTICAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE

      Kroger, Marlin G.; Palos Verdes Estates (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1982-09)
      This paper addresses the development of an architecture or framework to guide the design of future communications links and networks to support tactical military operations. In the next decade military forces are planned to be much more mobile and dispersed than they are today. Improved sensors and information processing capabilities will provide information needed to manage defense actions against numerically superior enemy forces, but the effective use of that information will require greatly improved communications capability. The resultant digital information traffic which consists of bursts of data between and among users and data sources must be accomodated efficiently, something that neither the present circuit-switches nor the current store-and-forward message transmission systems do well. Also, there is a requirement for much more interoperability between the systems of different services and nations. Internetwork routing of data transmissions can provide more robust connectivity via alternate paths, to cope with jamming and physical attacks on specific transmission media or nodes. An approach to data network interconnection structure that has emerged over the past several years is the concept of a hierarchial set of protocol layers, each one building on the one below. In total, they constitute a reference model for “open systems interconnection.” The most common version of such a reference model is the International Organization for Standardization’s reference model of Open Systems Interconnection (ISO OSI) (1). The ISO OSI model has been designed to serve the fixed plant, benign-environment commercial user. DoD has special needs for security, precedence, internetwork data transfer and user mobility that are not yet reflected in the ISO model. Because of these special needs candidate DoD models that are different from the ISO model have been proposed. However, an important consideration in the choice of or development of a DoD standard is that DoD Systems should be able to use commercial equipment and interface with commercial data networks. Also a consideration is that the reference model used for strategic and tactical communications should be a standard throughout DoD, although specific protocols could differ as necessary to support tactical vs. strategic needs. In total, these requirements and considerations constitute a significant design challenge that must be addressed promptly if DoD is to have any influence on the finalization of the ISO OSI model to get it to accomodate DoD requirements as much as possible.