NATO plans to move BRASS (Broadcast and Ship to Shore) HF services to the new BRE1TA (BRASS Enhancement One Technical Architecture) which was initially set out in 2008. There have been important technical developments since the BRE1TA vision was set out, in particular the work on Wideband HF (WBHF). There is also increased technical understanding and experience with some of the technologies associated with BRE1TA. This has led to a number of detailed technical discussions, such as those set out in the Isode White Paper [Architecture for IP Application Services over HF Radio: Point to Point, Multicast and Broadcast], which was written to support NATO BRE1TA planning.
A new whitepaper on the Isode website [From BRASS to BRE1TA: Improving HF Communications Now and in the Future]Â gives a higher level summary of what is going on, with the aim of providing an explanation to those interested in BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) communication, but who do not have detailed understanding of HF technologies. The paper looks at BRASS capabilities and sets out what can be achieved beyond core BRASS with technologies that can be purchased today. This includes four of the five BRE1TA goals and a few capabilities beyond BRE1TA. Finally the paper considers capabilities that are anticipated, but are not yet ready to deploy. This includes the fifth BRE1TA goal of providing generic IP services over HF.
Isode CEO, Steve Kille, is attending, presenting at and reporting from the Nordic HF Conference (HF 16) on the island of Faro, Sweden.
Professor Eric Johnson led Wednesday morningâ€™s session with an excellent presentation on new ALE work, called 4G ALE or Wideband ALE (Wideband ALE – The next generation of HF). This was followed by a presentation by Harris on preliminary measurements. Eric noted the importance of work in this area to support new WBHF and to reduce setup times. This is key technology for HF.
This work is being done by US DoD, with support from key US vendors (in particular Harris and Rockwell Collins). I asked when details of this work might be made available, and the answer was “not clear” and perhaps end of next year. This will likely be at the point when the work is published as a US Mil Spec. Then it will be shared with the rest of the world, and presented as a fait accompli for NATO to standardise. This may be a good way to achieve a solid standard. However, it feels to be locking out non-US involvement and giving unfair competitive advantage to US vendors.
ACP127 is an older military messaging protocol, which remains in widespread use along with a number of similar protocols such as DOI 103 and ACP 128. Isode’s M-Switch already provides full server side support for STANAG 4406, ACP 145 and MMHS over SMTP. We’ve now added support for ACP127 and selected related protocols to the M-Switch product enabling gateway connections between SMTP and STANAG 4406 services and ACP127 systems.
This year’s NATO C4ISR conference was held in Bucharest, Romania from 25-27 March. Co-located with AFCEA’s TechNet conference and exhibition, this annual event provides industry with first notice of upcoming business opportunities with NATO C4ISR, cyber & missile defence and gives NATO leaders a chance to learn about industry innovations in the same fields.
Supply of software to NATO member nations is an increasingly important part of Isode’s business with current contracts including directory synchronisation (Sodium-Sync) and text chat (M-Link) for NATO core capabilities.
Of particular note this year was the increasing focus of NATO, and NATO member states, on COTS products that adhere to recognised Open Standards. As our products introduce new capabilities,Â Isode has been at the forefront of authoring Open Standards relevant to the military market, such as the XMPP Standard for Federated Multi-User Chat in Constrained Link Environments. We’ll be continuing this drive in 2014 with some exciting new developments for the military market in the pipeline.
The latest releases of M-Link in our 14.6 and 15.1 branches (R14.6v14 and R15.1v10) include a fix to a security vulnerability relating to the XMPP Server Dialback protocol which effects a number of XMPP implementations.Â More details on the fixed vulnerability can be found on the site of the XMPP Standards Foundation at http://xmpp.org/resources/security-notices/server-dialback/