Northrop Grum­man flies first pro­duc­tion Smart Node Pod


Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion has com­pleted a se­ries of flight tests demon­strat­ing the first pro­duc­tion Smart Node Pod for the US Air Force. Smart Node Pod is an air­craft-mounted air­borne com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem that al­lows real-time in­for­ma­tion to be ex­changed among many dis­parate mil­i­tary and commercial ra­dios and dif­fer­ent data links, ex­tends the net­work to the for­ward edge of the bat­tle­field and re­lays full-mo­tion video.

Northrop Grum­man con­ducted five flights to cer­tify per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics in Fe­bru­ary in Vir­ginia Beach. Dur­ing the flights, the Smart Node Pod demon­strated the abil­ity to trans­mit full-mo­tion video, im­agery, voice and dig­i­tal mes­sages be­tween warfight­ers both in the air and on the ground via var­i­ous wave­forms and data links and its in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with the pro­pri­etary and open source for­ward tac­ti­cal hand­held de­vices.

The com­pany is un­der con­tract to pro­duce Smart Node Pod sys­tems for the Air Force, with de­liv­er­ies sched­uled through mid-sum­mer of this year. Two dif­fer­ent pod de­signs – a sin­gle-pod and a multi-pod ar­chi­tec­ture – are in pro­duc­tion.

Smart Node Pod is based on BACN tech­nol­ogy Northrop Grum­man de­vel­oped for the Air Force.

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