Defence to trial new technologies to improve information flow

Military gets its own eBay

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is developing two new technologies to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with an edge when it comes to the flow of critical military information out in the field.

Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Defence, Peter Lindsay, said the first technology is the Military Bandwidth Broker (M-BB), which is a distributed management system that gives mission-critical information priority treatment during periods of excessive network congestion.

It was developed under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program and DSTO has licensed the technology to Tenix Defence Systems for transition into a new defence capability.

Lindsay said greater demand will soon be placed on defence communications environments using Internet Protocol (IP) to carry bulk multimedia traffic including data, voice and video of varying military importance.

He said that currently during times of congestion, mission-critical and non-mission-critical information suffer the same high level of dropouts and increased delays.

"To resolve this problem, MBB controls and prioritises information and its flow according to the commander's operational policy. While important information is delivered quickly, delivery of less important information is delayed," he said.

Meanwhile, DSTO is developing another technology aimed at improving Command and Control (C2) for the ADF members in the field.

Lindsay said DSTO's Agreement Technologies are electronic "protocols" to improve the accuracy and reach of mission commands communicated by networked forces to ensure they are fully understood, accepted and actioned.

"The technology operates in a similar way to the Internet-based marketplace eBay where buying and selling takes place through a formal process of offers and acceptance," he said.

"Agreement Technologies could be used to support multiple government and non-government agencies to reach agreement for unified actions when working in coalition and in major relief operations."

A prototype of the new technology is set for trial with the Australian Army and Singapore Armed Forces over the next two years.

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