Navy Communications System Modeling and Simulation

Underwater Communications

Modeling and simulation of communication systems are essential for users to develop implement and analyze a network in real-time without the risks. To meet the need, SCALABLE developed the EXata communications system simulation software. EXata is a comprehensive suite of tools for emulating large wired and wireless networks. EXata provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative to physical testbeds that typically have high equipment costs, complex setup requirements and limited scalability.

The user is able to work with a high performance, high fidelity, communications system simulation engine, in which an extremely accurate "virtual" models environment can be created, and then analyzed through a series of scenarios to identify where there are weak points or failure modes that need to be addressed. This allows for a lab-based risk reduction work environment that is repeatable, verifiable and highly cost effective.

EXata’s ability to provide communications visualization and communications system simulations is why the US Navy chose to leverage EXata simulation software to implement underwater communications modeling and communications visualization. EXata will model acoustic and optical communications and will help the Navy to analyze and assess network performance including Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) and Disconnected, Interrupted, and Low-bandwidth (DIL) environments.

EXata and the US Navy are able to prepare for future warfare and find new and innovative ways to make use of underwater communications. Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) hold promise for stealthy surveillance, particularly in areas that pose difficulties for submarines such as shallow waters and channels. However, the underwater communication environment that is needed for command and control, and transfer of sensor data has its own set of challenges.  Acoustic channels are subject to distortion, multipath effects, and noise, and have very low data rates. Underwater laser can achieve high data rates but is very limited in range due to absorption in sea water. UUVs have limited battery life and must return to underwater stations to recharge and transfer data, which must then be transferred to the surface or shore. Swarms of UUVs will need to be controlled in hostile environments.

EXata will model acoustic and optical communications, while Scenario Player will provide communications visualization to help the Navy analyze and assess network performance including Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) and Disconnected, Interrupted, and Low-bandwidth (DIL) environments. EXata will enable analysis of underwater network resiliency and self-healing performance, and help the Navy to develop network policies that will assure missions. 

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