Network Modernization: MCN-AE
Sharing intelligence data is critical to successful missions on the battlefield. The small form factor Modular Communications Node-Advanced Enclave (MCN-AE) augments the existing intelligence network, enabling intelligence users to connect to all of the same resources they have when using the traditional standalone TROJAN Intelligence Network, but instead using the Army’s Tactical Network.
Each MCN-AE fits into a suitcase-sized transit case, and the system uses a unit’s organic tactical network transport equipment to relay intelligence data across the battlefield. MCN-AE enables the Army to replace the tactical elements of the intelligence network’s TROJAN Special Purpose Integrated Remote Intelligence Terminal (SPIRIT) system, a large truck and trailer, with two carry on cases, cutting down on footprint. The system reduces size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements for a more expeditionary force while increasing a unit’s operational flexibility.
MCN-AE improves operational flexibility and multipath diversity. Unlike the current TROJAN Network that only uses the TROJAN SPIRIT system for network transport, the Tactical Network provides numerous network transport options via a wide range of Army transport nodes. These network transport nodes can operate in all satellite bands (Ka, Ku, X-band, etc).
The MCN-AE also enables commanders conducting operational missions to dynamically assign bandwidth between their tactical mission command and intelligence assets as they see fit, with the ability to reassign additional bandwidth on demand.
Traditionally, in the past, the Army’s tactical operations, intelligence, logistics and medical communities each used separate communications networks to pass information. The Army is converging the intelligence, logistics and portions of the medical networks onto the tactical network, an effort, known as Transport Convergence. The lightweight expeditionary MCN-AE is at the heart of the intelligence convergence effort – Phase 1 of Transport Convergence.
MCN-AE directly supports and is aligned with the Army Network Modernization Strategy Line Of Effort (LOE) #1 Unified Network, by unifying and collapsing the intelligence network onto the unified tactical network. It also supports LOE #4 Command Post Mobility and Survivability, by enabling a more expeditionary and easy to deploy solution compared to the larger legacy capability, to enable the exchange of critical intelligence battlefield data and situational awareness.
- Provides intelligence data exchange with commercial off-the-shelf and/or government off-the-shelf baseband network
- Reduces size, weight and power (SWaP) for increased unit agility
- Enables commanders conducting operational missions to dynamically assign bandwidth between tactical mission command and intelligence assets, with the ability to reassign additional bandwidth on demand
- Uses the robust and redundant tactical network, delivering needed redundancy to the intelligence community