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Activity title

Heterogeneous Tactical Networks - Improving Connectivity and Network Efficiency

Activity Reference

IST-124 (COM)


Information Systems Technology

Security Classification



Awaiting Publication

Activity type


Start date


End date



Connectivity, Heterogeneous, Tactical Networks


The number of different mobile networks present in a coalition operation, is increasing. No clear guidelines exist on how to connect these networks to form a coalition heterogeneous network at the tactical edge to support interoperability and improve the overall network robustness and availability.


Provide architecture and design guidance for tactical heterogeneous networks at the mobile tactical edge in order to support coalition interoperability and get more reliable and predictable network performance.


The list of topics that need research attention is long. Specific military requirements such as radio silence must be considered in all research studies. The interests of the nations that sign up for the activity will decide which of the subtopics to prioritize and pursue. - Connectivity/Routing o Inter and intradomain unicast and multicast routing o The applicability of existing standard routing protocols and improvements for heterogeneous networks o Tradeoffs between network performance and overhead o Protocol interoperability, e.g., protocol interaction versus overlay o Interoperability on different layers o Efficient route redistribution across different security domains and crypto systems o Next generation networking techniques - Traffic management and QoS across multiple networks with different characteristics o Considerations of both unicast and multicast flows o Required functionalities, system components and interfaces for traffic management and QoS o Flow admission control, priority and pre-emption over multiple domains o Resource reservation over different technologies, and with potential different resource views o Performance tradeoff in maintaining fairness across different link technologies o Load balancing to utilize paths with different characteristics o Collection and estimation of resource information - Transport protocols optimization across heterogeneous networks o Security issue: end-to-end transport across several security boundaries o Taking applications in special tactical network segments into account (e.g., sensor data) - Facilitate network management o Improved auto-configuration across network boundaries

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