Rapid Innovation Fund Effort Paves Way for Cutting-Edge Communications Capability

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

C2M2 provides size, weight and power (SWaP) reduction and gives the dismounted warfighter situational awareness and command and control messages using the Nett Warrior End User Device.


 

By Justin Eimers, PEO C3T

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland—Soldiers in dismounted and non-conventional U.S. Army forces may soon be using a specially designed radio module for beyond-line-of-sight communications and increased dismounted situational awareness while operating in degraded or denied network environments. The effort, led by the Army’s Project Manager Mission Command at Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), is known as the Clear Connect Mission Module (C2M2) and was developed and assessed through the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) initiative with industry.

When attached to a current 2-channel leader radio, the C2M2 delivers a beyond-line-of-sight, push-to-talk voice capability and short data messages, taking advantage of commercial satellite communications links in addition to normal line-of-sight voice and data. C2M2 also provides size, weight and power reduction and gives the dismounted warfighter situational awareness and command and control messages using the Nett Warrior end user device.

“Prior to C2M2, Soldiers did not have a small tactical leader radio ancillary module capable of leveraging the Iridium low earth orbit constellation to provide beyond-line-of-sight capability to their current 2-channel leader radio,” said Ifeanyi Igwulu, Mounted Mission Command-Transport futures project officer for Product Manager Joint Battle Command-Platform. “The effort provides the warfighter with a developmental, lightweight, combined line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight voice and data capability that can be used anywhere in the world.”

When attached to a current 2-channel leader radio, the C2M2 delivers a beyond-line-of-sight, push-to-talk capability, taking advantage of commercial satellite communications links and short-burst-data in addition to normal line-of-sight voice and data. (Photo by PEO C3T)

 

RIF enables the military and nontraditional contractors to work together through rapid prototyping and experimentation, delivering capabilities into the hands of Soldiers in less than one year. The Network Cross-Functional Team and PEO C3T are currently implementing four separate RIF efforts. C2M2 is the first of five RIF-funded products that Product Manager Joint Battle Command-Platform is responsible for that focus on size, weight and power reduction, robustness and multi-path frequencies. The focus of this RIF effort was to rapidly produce demonstration-quality units and prove a concept with minimal funding.

The C2M2 can detect when it becomes isolated from the TSM waveform line-of-sight network, or when the node count falls below a preset number, and will automatically route communications via the Iridium network. The system also provides a visual indication to the user that displays the current communications mode. “Really the end goal is to grant the Soldier access to the maximum amount of transport solutions necessary for their mission/data, retain their ability to control those transports, inform them when something changes and simultaneously reduce their cognitive load if they prefer an automated transport selection/switching system,” said Igwulu.

In coordination with U.S. Army Forces Command, Soldiers from the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division were selected to test the C2M2 capability during Exercise Mobility Guardian last September at Yakima Training Area, Washington. Personnel from the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command engaged with the Soldiers throughout the exercise to collect feedback as part of the Army’s continued DevOps (a methodology that emphasizes collaboration between development and operations teams) model for network modernization.


 

Subscribe to Army AL&T News – the premier online news source for the Army Acquisition Workforce. 
 Subscribe