Tactical Data Links

Model, simulate and analyze the performance of a tactical data link for a national aerospace company

Tactical MANET Radios


  • A Ground Station (GS) is connected to the Early Warning Radar (EWR), via ground network infrastructure
  • The GS starts up the network, does the time slot assignment, generates the crypto key and the frequency hopping pattern
  • GS then broadcasts the Air Picture to all friendly aircraft
  • Friendly aircraft broadcast their positions periodically to one another and to the GS
  • When enemy aircraft is detected by the EWR it transmits information to the GS
  • GS in turn broadcasts the updated Air Picture to friendly aircraft, which then engage the enemy


Grid Length 300x300 kmSlot Duration 50 ms
Bits per slot2500 bits
RF Power20 W
RX Sensitivity-108 dbm

Performance Analysis

A set of simulation runs covering a wide range of input parameters were run to study the system performance. Some of the observations discovered after an in-depth analysis of the simulation results were -

  • With the low bit rates available and with RF propagation losses too many Air Picture packets
  • Time slots were not immediately available for the GS given the round robin slot allocation


  • Reduce the Recognized Air Picture (RAP) packet size
  • Move from a round robin to demand based slot allocation
  • Layer 3 routing could be added in the future for communication between nets