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Battlefield Airborne Communications Node

Definition/Scope: The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) is a military prototype for a remotely accessed, high altitude, and tactically oriented communications and networking node intended for use on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Initiated in December 2004, it has four main components: 1) BACN provides a Tactical Data Link (TDL) "gateway" which allows dissimilar military links (either links that work in different radio frequency bands, or different message sets, or both). Examples include LINK 16, the Situation Airborne Data Link (SADL) and the Integrated Broadcast System (IBS). Through BACN’s tactical data link gateway, users of these three systems can share information and form a common tactical picture. 2) BACN provides a Forward Tactical Server (FTS) that allows an Internet Protocol based networking capability. With the FTS, bespoke military networks can interface and share content across both secure and open internet connections. 3) BACN provides the capability to "cross-band" military, civilian and commercial communications systems so that air, land, and sea based forces can actually talk across dissimilar networks. This includes UHF/VHF radios... both secure and non-secure... first responder radios (sheriff, fire, police, other agency), and commercial cellular systems. 4) BACN allows "disadvantaged" users (soldiers on foot, or platforms without advanced communications systems) an affordable pathway to connect via secure or non-secure media with inexpensive devices. This includes cellular phones, existing narrow band radios, or even an airborne 802.11 networking capability.



Acronym:

BACN

Broader Terms:

communications
Link 16
very high frequency (secure)

Narrower Terms:

ultrahigh frequency
very high frequency

Related Terms:

Global Hawk
Integrated Broadcast System
interoperability
joint interoperability
Network Centric Warfare


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