In many ways, battlefield networks architecturally resemble a typical LAN/WAN, but the broader battlefield is far from a typical environment. The big difference is that platforms are on the move, so they must connect using RF technologies rather than wire or fiber. And that’s where things get tricky.
In many ways, battlefield networks architecturally resemble a typical LAN/WAN office or enterprise environment (Figure 1). There are end-point nodes—typically a vehicle, UAV, airplane, or even a dismounted soldier—which are rolled up into clusters (subnets) and inter-connected via battlefield routers. Communication is managed via IPv4/IPv6 for data, voice, and video, and the networks use flow control and typical terrestrial routing protocols just like the world’s Internet.