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.