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Viasat demonstrates resilient, multi-path networking at the U.S. Army’s Cyber Quest exercise

Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, securely and reliably transmitted high performance cloud- and artificial intelligence (AI)-based data in a variety of challenging tactical communication scenarios during the U.S. Army’s Cyber Quest 2020 exercise—a collaborative, live event where military, commercial and defense industry, worked alongside academia and government to examine how electronic warfare, cyber, networking and communications capabilities could aid global military forces.

Cyber Quest 2020 at Fort Gordon

“Cyber Quest provides a realistic, operational, ‘fail-safe’ environment that puts critical capabilities—enabled by the latest technologies—into the hands of soldiers for immediate feedback and assessment,” said Col. Brett Riddle, director of the Cyber Battle Lab. “It’s an incredible opportunity to bring leaders from across disciplines together to accelerate and optimize technological developments for battlespace advancement.”

During the event, Viasat showed its NetAgility Virtual and Mobile Software Defined Networking (SDN) bonding router delivering advanced multi-path networking transmission and management capabilities over a variety of tactical communication links in a number of U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and Operational Virtual Health (OVH) situations. Tactical communication technologies leveraged included SATCOM, LTE and multiple Line of Sight tactical radios. Viasat’s technology supported Situational Awareness (SA) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications with optimized network video capture to:

  • Enable a medic in theater wearing augmented reality glasses to send/receive medical input from a surgeon located at the Army base;

  • Allow facial recognition and AI scans be sent to identify wounded soldiers by matching data stored in military personnel databases; and

  • Provide a higher level of warfighter care during ‘golden hour’ situations, which is the precious first hour following a battlefield wound when proper medical attention and treatment is crucial to survival.

Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat commented, “The U.S. Army has interest in fielding advanced solutions like OVH, SA, transport-optimized ISR and a tactical medical cloud to help save warfighter lives in the thick of battle. These applications require increased network bandwidth and resiliency for both the distributed network (command post to medic) and the backhaul network (advanced medical support from continental U.S. military hospitals). At Cyber Quest 2020, we proved we could augment and enhance existing tactical military networks using SDN capabilities integrated into a multi-vendor environment—to provide ease of management, increased network capacity and real-time resilience—even if a network goes under attack.”

In multiple challenges during the Cyber Quest 2020 exercise, the Army explored how Viasat’s SDN platform could address the following U.S. Army Futures Command Network Cross-Functional Team interests:

  • Capability Set 2023—specifically in the area of hardened network transport to provide increased data throughput, and

  • Capability Set 2025—for the initial implementation of automated PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency) and recovery across multiple networks, including: Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS), commercial cellular and a Line of Sight (LOS) tactical Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET).

In each scenario, Viasat was able to demonstrate it could strengthen the transport backbone and ensure resilient communications could be maintained without disruption or disablement, thereby empowering field-based medics with the life-saving technologies they needed during warfare.