Isode at the HFIA #1: Proposed Extensions to STANAG 5066

The High Frequency Industry Association (HFIA) provides an “industry driven forum for the interactive exchange of technical and information in the area of High Frequency Communications.” Physical meetings of the group usually take place twice a year and in September 2014 Portsmouth was the location for the latest of these meetings. This is the first of two blog posts covering our attendance at this meeting.

As Isode has an interest in applications for constrained bandwidth communications, we often attend and occasionally present at these meetings. This year we had two presentations to share with the attendees.

Steve Kille at the HFIA
Steve Kille at the HFIA

Isode CEO, Steve Kille, gave a talk focusing on Isode’s proposed extensions to STANAG 5066 to improve performance of applications running over wideband HF links. The first was an update to a talk Isode gave at the February HFIA meeting, this time including hard measurements showing that Isode’s extensions (known as LFSN, Long Frame Sequence Number) result in significant performance gains.

This was followed by a live demonstration of the extensions in action, enabling co-existence of bulk and time critical applications over narrow-band and wide-band HF. The applications used were Multi-User Chat and Real-Time Military Forms (both using the XMPP protocol) and military email messaging.

New Event: Isode at the High Frequency Industry Association

Isode will be presenting at the High Frequency Industry Association (HFIA) meeting at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK on 11th September 2014. We’ll be presenting two separate sessions:

  1. An update to and measurement of the proposed STANAG 5066 extensions to improve ARQ performance, and
  2. A demonstration of bulk and time critical applications co-existing over HF and WBHF and using those extensions.

We’ll be using a number of Isode applications for messaging including email, chat and forms data submission on a range of mobile devices during the demo.

Creating & Managing a Security Label Policy (new whitepaper)

Security Labels are a key component of systems providing security, particularly for military and government use where they are used to provide protective marking on information and as the basis for access control. Security Label Policy (generally simply termed “security policy” in most security label standards) controls the detailed structure of security labels and how they are used to provide access control.

A new whitepaper on the Isode website explains our open standards approach to supporting security policies in extremely complex environments. It also shows how our tools can be used to support simple environments using open standards, avoiding the need for a proprietary approach.

The whitepaper introduces some of the key concepts in this area and then describes the capabilities of Isode’s Security Policy Information File (SPIF) Editor in a way that enables a quick evaluation of the product.

Whitepaper Update

We’ve also made significant updates to an earlier whitepaper Using OSCP, LDAP & HTTP for Certificate Checking in a Large Scale Distributed Environment and over Constrained Networks adding a new section, Management Tools, that illustrates our product capabilities in this area.

New “Military forms using XMPP” whitepaper and access to our Military forms Demo

Forms are important for military operations, and there is often a need to handle forms quickly and share with a large number of users, such as Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) alerts.

XMPP based open standard instant messaging is widely used by military organisations and is a sensible framework for sharing forms. Our new whitepaper [Military Forms using XMPP], published on the Isode website today, looks at the requirements for military forms and how the XEP-0346 “Forms Display and Publishing” (FDP) can be used to provide real time military forms. It looks at how capabilities provided by M-Link support military forms using FDP, and how gateways can enable integration with other services. FDP is supported in the most recent R16.2 release along with FDP Management in M-Link Console.

Isode support to Boeing and NCI Agency at Unified Vision 2014

Over the last couple of years we’ve been conducting both ground and flight trials with a number of military aircraft operators to look at addressing the problems of text chat over constrained links (high-latency, unreliable connection, low-bandwidth).

Text chat has become a vital capability for the modern warfighter but most modern text chat deployments have significant problems, both architectural and functional, in the constrained link environment.

Addressing these problems has been a high priority for our development team and we believe that our M-Link XMPP server product now leads the field in this environment.

We continue to participate in trials whenever we’re given the opportunity, which is why we were very happy to support Boeing and NATO’s NCI Agency in the recent Unified Vision 2014 exercise, the largest ever test of NATO’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

M-Link capabilities, including Federated Multi-User Chat and submission of Tactical Reports (TACREPS) using dynamic chat forms, were extensively tested over a 10 day period. We’re very happy with the feedback and results we got from the tests, which will enable us to make even more improvements to M-Link’s performance.

The results from Unified Vision will be used as the baseline for implementation of a Joint ISR Initial Operational Capability, in 2016, for the NATO Response Force.