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S&T Slovenija Defence Programme

COMMS2 / Combat communication service

COMMS2 is a hardware abstraction layer providing connectivity among different military communication equipment and networks.
COMMS2 acts as a software driver for different Combat Network Radios (CNR), offering reliable and unreliable communication services over radio networks and supporting a multitude of radio modem devices. A xed, standardized, well documented socket-like programming interface is open towards the client with ability to send and receive messages with the corresponding transmission status notications.

- Increased level of radio network reliability - Increased level of radio network efficiency - Maximum level of radio network interconnectivity - Reduced costs of radio network maintenance and upgrades

2/6 S&T Slovenija Defence Programme / COMMS2 - Provides unified communication layer for tactical communications - Integrates different CNR equipment into common C4I data network - Offers cross network routing - Extends effective lifespan of legacy CNR equipment
Radio Network Group 02

Radio Network Group 01

COMMS2 Purpose
Inter-standard military communication connectivity If your radio network consists of a broad range of communications hardware from different manufacturers and technologies, with diversified configurations of units, COMMS2 provides
Radio Network Group 03 Radio Network Group 04

the ideal way to integrate this equipment across different wavelengths (VHF, HF, Combat Net, Wi-Fi, Satellite Links) using a variety of protocols for communication (P_MUL, UDP, RDP, TCP/ IP). COMMS2 ensures communication between various radio systems and connects them into a unified communications network. The basic COMMS2 configuration supports the following hardware: Harris Falcon II series, Tadiran CNR 900 series, Thales TRC 9210, general async CNR modems, general IP stack radios, GPRS modems, LAN and Wi-Fi. The driver library can be upgraded to support any radio equipment.COMMS2 server is an OS level service, serving one or more COMMS2 clients. It uses IP type of node addressing, regardless of radio capabilities. Multiple COMMS2 clients can use the COMMS2 service simultaneously. As data is received over the COMMS2 network, it is delivered only to the addressed client, which enables direct

This diagram demonstrates the implementation of COMMS2 client. It connects radio networks, equipped with different hardware and functioning on different frequency areas, into a common, unified network. All individual networks are linkable simultaneously and compatible with a wider radio network (e.g. Nato connectivity).

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Custom made SW

Commercial off the Shelf SW

communication with a particular person or device. Communication over radio waves is designed to be as collision free as possible, while maintaining a good ratio between low transmission latency and high data throughput by changing the number of active network nodes. Radio networks have relatively low bandwidth and high communication error rate. Control protocols in place reduce unnecessary traffic to a minimum and manage packet priorities. Traffic can be multiplexed or replicated over different radio channels simultaneously in order to achieve higher data throughput or more reliable delivery. Radio network topology is dynamic and changes frequently with radio nodes being mobile, failing or going out of reach. Also, the radio links are usually of different quality. Routing and gateway capabilities ensure necessary flexibility to deliver messages to nodes in different combat nets, or to reach obscured nodes in the same network. IP gateway mode enables a commercial off the shelf application to operate over radio net. COMMS2 - Radio to client application bridge Current COTS solutions which support various reliable and unreliable communications over radio networks often require additional customization for a specific communication protocol on a specific type of communication device and only work in an encapsulated environment. Data exchange between mixed communication networks is usually solved with additional custom integration, which makes the communication environment harder to maintain, more complex and often more unstable. To increase the level of system maintainability and extendibility, COMMS2 implements several clearly defined abstraction layers, which separate node addressing, routing, communication protocols and hardware usage more transparently. To support mixed communication networks simultaneously, each communication device has (radio, modem, network card,..) its own communication and even configuration driver. COMMS2 always uses IP-like addressing, no matter which kind of communication hardware is used. Received data is verified by COMMS2 routing protocols and, if necessary, forwarded to the addressed node in the appropriate communication network.
Client library IP Gateway IP Gateway
BFT Sitaware Email

Device Driver

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COMMS2 Arhitecture

COMMS2 Main features

Application (FTP)

Application (IP)

Application (BES)

Application (SMTP)

Combat Network Radio (CNR) abstraction layer COMMS2 is a complete hardware abstraction layer, saving software developers from radio specific communication stack implementations. Through device driver plug-ins it supports different legacy async (serial) radio modems, modern IP radios, and some more exotic communication stacks. Modular design COMMS2 offers maximum flexibility and quick add-on development capability. New hardware is supported simply by adding new Combat Network Radio (CNR) drivers. In the same fashion, COMMS2 can be extended with new protocols in the form of add-on modules.


COMMS2 Client library


COMMS2 Device server


UDP broadcast and RUDP COMMS2 can utilize a native radio broadcast network topology for fast and unreliable (no confirmations) transport layer for Blue Force Tracking, Chat, Alert and beacon mode operations. Unicast and Multicast modes are supported by the RUDP, or the more complex ACP 142 protocol. P_MUL / ACP 142 This protocol is supported by the COMMS2 as the main reliable transfer protocol. P_MUL has many advantages over an IP stack in radio environment, including support for EMCON conditions. Routing Reliable protocol data can be routed across radio networks. In order to minimize overhead traffic COMMS2 implements

P_MUL (ACP 142)













COMMS2 802.15.4 MAC


efficient wireless network route discovery protocol. Unreliable protocol data can be rebroadcasted if necessary. Encryption API COMMS2 provides an API for the security layer, enabling customers to implement their own algorithms in addition to security, provided by radio manufacturers. Standard protocols, such as IPSec, can be purchased as an add-on module.

Harris 58000

Tadiran CNR900

General async

Thales TRC9210

SW modem

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COMMS2 Features
- COMMS2 service can handle multiple COMMS2 clients simultaneously. - One OS service per host. - Multiple radio channels/modems can co-exist on the same COMMS2 service. - Reliable and unreliable transport protocols. - Radio nodes in EMCON mode are supported. - Node forwarding (retransmissions inside same network) is supported. - All radio nodes are capable of routing and/or re-broadcasting . - Can act as a gateway between different types of networks, combining fixed and wireless networks. - Radio networks can have single-hop or multi-hop topology. - IP type of addressing is used for addressing nodes in the radio network. - Support message priority as part of message flow control. - Messages are multiplexed or replicated over different radio channels simultaneously in order to achieve higher data throughput or higher delivery reliability. - IP Gateway mode for existing TCP client/server applications. - Based on Mesh topology. Radio nodes operate independently from each other in a distributed way with no base or central station. - Quick, easy and flexible configuration. - Remote configuration.

COMMS2 Technical Specifications

Connectivity LAN, USB and RS232 interfaces are natively supported. Others avai able on request. Communications UDP and RUDP communication module is built in. Other protocols are provided via COMMS2 plug-ins or custom implementations. Performance High performance achievable on Pentium M 1.1 GHz and with approximately 50Mb memory usage footprint. Minimum Hardware Requirements Windows XP/Embedded with 256Mb RAM and a Pentium M class processor. .NET 2 framework required.

S&T Slovenija Defence Programme / COMMS2

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