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MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS
Lockheed Martin Mobile "Network in a Box" Upgraded
by Staff Writers
Huntsville AL (SPX) Feb 23, 2014


Lockheed Martin's Whetstone system was developed to extend communications to soldiers out of range of conventional networks.

A mobile military communications "network in a box" developed by Lockheed Martin has been upgraded with processing power comparable to systems four times its size. Lockheed Martin's Whetstone network suite now offers users in remote and disconnected areas the ability to quickly process, download and disseminate terabytes of mission command data while operating outside of the network.

"With Whetstone, we've developed a small system that offers troops extensive capabilities," said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. "This lightweight system is small but powerful and offers the processing capability of much larger systems at a fraction of the weight."

Lockheed Martin's Whetstone system was developed to extend communications to soldiers out of range of conventional networks. It provides satellite communications connectivity and can support anything from small unit missions to a brigade combat team's command post requirements.

The system's network infrastructure has been upgraded to now push terabytes of broadband data - such as satellite imagery, mission command data, and full motion video feeds - down to company level units that lack wideband communications.

It can also be easily integrated with and can equip or supplement vehicles that have communications links to other networks for data and voice, such as UHF/VHF Line of Sight, Enhanced Position Location Reporting System, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System.

Completely scalable, this platform agnostic "network in a box" can be configured for most combat and tactical vehicles. Depending on the mission, the system can be removed from one platform and integrated into another in less than one hour.

It easily supports operations at the "tactical edge," or squad level with a commitment to economy of cost, space and weight to enable better maneuverability without sacrificing network functionality.

Developed through Lockheed Martin internal research and development, Whetstone has been tested in various operational environments to assess its suitability, survivability and effectiveness. The system has been successfully integrated with multiple existing military communications platforms and 4G cellular base stations in several field exercises.

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