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Successful MUDLAN Tech Demo 2

Mobile Unmanned/Manned Distributed Lethality Airborne Network (MUDLAN) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD), a pre-milestone A activity sponsored by all 4 services and OSD, demonstrated its final Technology Demonstration 2 (TD2) ahead of moving to the Operational Demonstration (OD) phase of the JCTD, at NAS Patuxent River and MCAS Cherry Point between March 17 & 26th

The MUDLAN networking architecture solution was a prototype of a Naval Tactical Grid, in which current-state (available Government Furnished Equipment) radios were loaned to the effort for four years, to push the limits of current fielded technologies, often using those radios in ways not originally intended by the manufacturer, coupling them with developmental antennas and a network controller, all developed under NAVAIR Small Business Innovative Research contracts from 2017 to 2019. MUDLAN kicked off in 2018 and addressed 6 critical Joint Aerial Layered Network (JALN) requirements which were initially identified in 2011 and had not been demonstrated in a single configuration to date by any of the individual services. 

The TD2 tactical edge network architecture consisted of two airborne and two ground nodes, configured with six interoperable networks capable of cross-banding data over the best available link to maximize transport range and capacity of the links. Link-16 was used to provide an initial pointing command to the system to initiate links, after which MUDLAN demonstrated the capacity to transport up to 44 Mbps 130 nautical miles over the horizon between two nodes, and a total aggregate range between the 4 nodes of 250 nautical miles, continuously connected over at least 3 different disparate networks and sharing data between them seamlessly. 

NAWCAD provided the Technical Management for the JCTD, Ms. Emily Stump. PMA 266 endorsed the initial SBIR topics for the antennas, and PMA 231 and PMA 268 supported the initial SBIR development for the network controller. The GFE was provided by SOCOM. 

The software baseline used in MUDLAN came from a prior PMW150 SBIR to develop a Tactical Troubleshooting Toolset (T3) software that is already transitioning to the fleet and expanding to include additional interfaces. MUDLAN added IP network management to the initial T3 baseline, including the ability to directly control the individual radios and remotely address configuration changes on the airborne nodes from the ground on command. 

NAWCAD Surface/Aviation Interoperability Laboratory (SAIL) provided the host venue for the exercise, and critical integration with hosted systems supporting the Fleet Battle Problem exercise hosted out of PAX River by Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) which was ongoing at the same time. MUDLAN JCTD provided “data as a service” between a USMC ground force training exercise in North Carolina and delivered the ISR data and personal location data to be displayed locally within the SAIL as a fifth connected node during the event, providing an example of how a non-MUDLAN participating node can receive full situational network awareness without any unique investment into new antennas, radios or hardware, simply by having a common key and the correct routing scheme within the connected systems, and hosting the T3 software on a local machine. 

This is considered a key “network of networks” enabler toward the end state Naval Tactical Grid, and transition activities will continue as MUDLAN enters the OD phase and sends the team out to Alaska for Northern Edge 21 Fleet Exercises sponsored by INDOPACOM. 

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Design Thinking Blitz with Warfighters

Fuse is investing in our nation’s sailors and the Maritime Domain by working directly with active-duty U.S. Navy experts in the development of advanced technologies. Warfighter workshops build a working relationship between users (warfighters), experts, and stakeholders and the Fuse engineering and design team. This close partnership and collaboration enables Fuse engineers to design and develop products and capabilities applicable to our Navy’s requirements for mission success. Throughout the past month Fuse engaged a host of end users of our Tactical Technologies Toolset (T3) product to improve functionality and add features and capabilities requested by the user.

The T3 team conducted workshops with system experts, product owners, and uniformed warfighters to immediately prototype the requested modifications to the Graphic User Interface and add enhanced capability to the system. Fuse overcame COVID induced hurdles and conduct these workshops over Microsoft Teams, using innovative digital whiteboard and workflow products to bridge the digital divide.  The only way to accelerate deployment of game-changing capabilities to the fleet is to work closely with the warfighter, and that is where our team is focused. 

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T3 gets U.S. Navy DADMS Approval

The U.S. Navy added Fuse Integration’s Tactical Technologies Toolset (T3) to the Department of the Navy (DoN) Application and Database Management System (DADMS) list. DADMS is the Navy’s authoritative record of software applications approved for use in all Navy and Marine Corps software, equipment, and devices.

T3 is a remote monitoring solution for multi-domain operations providing users with an enterprise view of distributed fleet networks, systems, and an intuitive layout of radar settings and status. This advanced technology significantly enhances the capabilities of operators and decision-makers in today’s dynamic operational environment.

Such recognition and achievement for Fuse Integration further highlights the company’s long-standing commitment to the nation’s warfighters at the tactical edge.