Joint Network Emulator (JNE)
SCALABLE’s Joint Network Emulator (JNE) library is a live-virtual-constructive (LVC) simulation platform for the development, test and evaluation of battlefield communications networks, applications and net-enabled systems. JNE is a Government-Off-The-Shelf (GOTS) library that uses EXata as the underlying network simulation platform and leverages its efficient parallel discrete-event simulation kernel and system-in-the-loop interfaces. This supports JNE’s ability to synchronize battlefield simulations running in ‘real time’ with live network hardware (e.g. routers and radios), network software (e.g. network managers and network monitoring software), and mission command applications (e.g., situation awareness, streaming video chat applications). Originally developed to model the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), today JNE provides a capability for performance modeling & simulation of end-end tactical communications over a network that potentially spans underwater, afloat, ground, air, and space-based assets. More recently, JNE has also been interfaced with StealthNet, an extensive library of cyber threat and defense models that can be used to assess the cyber resilience of battlefield networks and operational mission threads.
The JNE library and SCALABLE's EXata for JNE network modeling and simulation application provide military personnel and defense contractors with a high-fidelity LVC modeling and simulation environment to quickly and cost effectively plan battlefield network architectures and mission scenarios, and test new radios in operationally accurate contexts and "at scale" deployments. Waveforms like the Wideband Network Waveform (WNW) and Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) running on live radios can interoperate with emulations of these waveforms in JNE, and live network managers can control the emulated network just like they manage real networks. JNE can thus be used in place of live tactical radios for a variety of purposes at a significantly lower cost while providing the ability to configure the emulated network to operate in difficult environments like urban areas, mountainous terrain, mixed land-air deployments, and has the potential to represent multi-brigade scenarios in an operationally realistic manner.
JNE includes a collection of models for battlefield communications that include the Wideband Radio Waveform (WNW), the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINGARS), the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS), Warfighters Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T), Blue Force Tracker (BFT), the Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2), the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and a variety of other tactical data links (TDLs) and satellite communication (SATCOM) links. JNE interfaces to a variety of live hardware, software and systems that include live WNW and SRW radios, Semi-Automated Force Generators (SAFs) like ONESAF, tactical applications like Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) and Simulation Testing and Operations Rehearsal Model (STORM), and a subset of Joint Range Extension Applications Protocol – C (JREAP-C). JNE also has interfaces with the JTRS Enterprise Network Manager (JENM) as well as a variety of network management and monitoring software that include Wireshark. In addition, the Military Radio library in EXata provides models of Link 11 and Link-16 protocols.
The JNE library is in use across the military for planning, testing and training purposes and to simulate large sized military communications networks under a variety of conditions. This allows physical radios to connect and communicate with one or more radios simulated in JNE providing the ability to realistically simulate large size tactical radio networks and realize an at-scale operational tactical network laydown that consists of part live, part simulated radios by only using a few physical radio assets. The JNE library can also be used to develop, emulate and run a variety of simulated radio waveform models for use in the testing, planning and training domains. JNE has been successfully leveraged in 30 plus projects.
Among many uses of JNE by multiple DoD programs, we mention its use by the US Army Operational Test Command (OTC), where JNE was used to model the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) radio, and the model was interfaced with the live JTRS Enterprise Network Manager (JENM). Prior to availability of live JTRS radio units, JNE was used to both demonstrate JENM functionality as well as to assess its scalability under diverse operational conditions. For many of these applications, JNE used implementations on multi-core, parallel machines to provide the needed execution speed and scalability. JNE was also incorporated within a larger US Army test suite called BCNIS which was used to simulate large JTRS networks, but more importantly to interface and stimulate live networks for developmental (DT) and operational testing (OT) by the US Army. In particular, BCNIS successfully supported Joint Tactical Radio System – Ground Mobile Radio (JTRS-GMR) DT and OT events as well as the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 11.2, among the Army’s largest Operational Test event. In one such event, a network of tens of GMR radios emulated in BCNIS, were interfaced with a handful of live GMR units, allowing a test to scale up to a configuration that would otherwise have been cost-prohibitive. A conservative estimate is this test alone resulted in a net saving of over $10M for the US Army.
A second use case that provided even more dramatic savings for a test and analysis application, used JNE together with other simulators to run a distributed LVC exercise with over 550 tactical radio emulations with realistic traffic loading to represent a brigade operations and fires exercise. This distributed emulation included tactical network architecture with satellite and Link-16 networks, terrestrial networks of JTRS radios augmented with aerial tiers and unique radio/router architectures at platoon and below level, superimposed over a Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 satellite backbone, and tightly coupled with operational maneuver of forces simulated in OneSAF. If live systems were used, the US Army led team estimated that this test would have cost $800 Million; use of the LVC models allowed this test to be completed for a total cost of $3.6Milliuon – so use of LVC models like JNE provide significant cost savings by reducing time spent in the field.
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