Defense

Background

The Fall of Troy - Inside the Trojan Horse

Reliable, fast and secure communication has always been essential in defense and security. Often, successful communication is the decisive factor in determining who is victorious. It is no surprise that the "warrior classes" throughout history have continuously improved their communication networks. Messengers on foot, on horseback or traveling by ship were most common. However, birds such as carrier pigeons, fire, smoke, sound and drum signals were also used.

In the battle for Troy, Greek warriors who had hidden in the Trojan Horse used torches as signals to recall the Achaean (Greek) fleet, hiding behind a nearby island. Cyrus the Great optimized the distance between relay stations in his courier system by finding out how far a horse could travel in a day when ridden hard. The Raw (band in Arabic) was an organized network of horse relay stations run by Cyrus's army that served as a postal or communications system not unlike the Pony Express of the American West. The Athenians used runners, the most famous being Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, who ran from Marathon to Athens announcing the miraculous defeat of the Persians. Under the Mongols, units communicated with each other with a variety of signals, including whistling arrows or flags by day and torches at night. Dispatches were sent via courier, through a pony express system called the Yam. Roads became thoroughfares throughout the Mongolian Empire, with rest stations and fresh horses every 25 miles. This allowed couriers to ride 120 miles a day. In the Nippon empire, warriors used taiko (drums) to communicate between islands. During theie war of independence against the Austrians, the Swiss communicated using alphorns whose low frequency sounds could carry far through the Alps. The American Indians used smoke signals.

Of course, incapacitating your foe's communication capability is one of the primary objectives of any armed conflict. In World War I, the German, French and British forces used skilled bird hunters to shoot down their enemy's carrier pigeons. At the outset of the 1967 Six-Day War, the Israeli Defense Force, using low flying jet fighters, severed all phone lines connecting the Egyptian army in the Sinai with Nasser's central command in Cairo. At the start of the first Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force rendered Saddam's air power useless by destroying most of Iraq's radar installations. One can assume that reported vulnerabilities of the Internet or private intranets, not the least of which is the return of the Trojan Horse, create enormous challenges to the military.

The dominance of the U.S. military after World War II and the beginning of the Cold War required effective communication between U.S. military bases all over the world and their mobile forces. The U.S. military became the leaders in the development of efficient communication networks spanning the globe. Agencies such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), later renamed the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), in cooperation with other U.S. research facilities were established.

Packet switching data networks were first used by the military, long before the CCITT created the Recommendation X.25. The initial Internet, then called ARPANET and its protocols (e.g. IP, TCP, UUCP, Telenet) were developed by BBN Technologies in 1969.

Applications

Many military applications are cloaked in secrecy because of security concerns. Advanced Relay provides low level protocols to the the military which are used by their proprietary higher layer protocols to transport data. The internal structure of the data is unknown to us. Connections to satellite modems, special radios and radar systems are common applications. We frequently interface to encryption devices using an EIA-530 interface.

Advanced Relay has worked on projects directly with the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. Additional projects have been for defense contractors such as Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman (formerly TRW), Harris, Rockwell Collins, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell TSI. International defense customers include the ministries of defense of Sweden, Great Britain and Singapore, as well as the Chilean and Polish Air Forces.

Projects for the military have included secure phone connections between submarines, exchange of information between AWACS planes and surfaced submarines, a one-way satellite transmission of ground images to portable computers, Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, also known as "Star Wars"), radar systems and more.

Go to top