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Creating Robust Military Networks.pdf


"Creating Robust Military Networks" appeared in the June 2011 issue of Milsat Magazine

Radio Aware Routing (RAR) is a supported feature in our 5900 series Embedded Services Routers.

author: Darrel Beach, Systems Engineer/Architect, Cisco Systems

Article Summary:

Military organizations need reliable, versatile tactical networks for data, voice, and

video communications. However, that goal presents considerable obstacles:

– New software-defined radios allow a single radio to operate with multiple waveforms

to provide a wide range of capabilities, depending on frequency, waveform

characteristics, and bandwidth, which makes it difficult to establish and maintain IP


– Radio-based communications can be unreliable, and if routers are not aware of the

current condition of each radio, they cannot make effective routing decisions

– Different radios used in military networks use dissimilar connection methods, making

it time-consuming to create a network and complex to add new radios to it

– Radios and routers must be able to form ad hoc networks with minimal configuration

or changes

To address these challenges, Cisco has introduced the concept of Radio Aware Routing (RAR). Radio Aware Routing optimizes IP routing over diverse radio networks to give users real-time access to critical information while on the move. It provides a standardized way of connecting routers and radios so that using multiple types of radios in a network can potentially be as simple and effective as using off-the-shelf components for wired networks, and video is not disrupted. By abstracting the physical and logical interface of a radio into a form applicable for virtually any type of radio, RAR offers a modular building-block approach for using IP routers over radio networks. Such an approach overcomes many of the underlying problems encountered when using radio-based technologies with IP.

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