What would the world be like if airlines could offer a 1 Gb/s connection to passengers? And just how much of a data rate does this RWG need? Hey, I've been taking a lot of video lately!
But I digress. Just because we're civilly oriented on this blog, doesn't mean we can't stay tuned to other industries. To that end, I want to highlight the DirecNet multi-vendor alliance.
Formed by a group of US military contractors, DirecNet's goal is to create a non-proprietary open standard, with development hosted by The Open Group, for a high bandwidth military networking radio waveform.
Key features of the proposed waveform are; directionality, IP compatibility, highly mobile, ad hoc mesh networking, efficient use of spectrum, with up to 1 Gb/s data rate.
DirecNet is intended to be an air-to-ground and air-to-air waveform, with range of greater than 300NM in some modes.
Key par from the site:
The proposed open-standard directional networking system is designed to provide a 1-gigabit-per-second data communication with anyone in a network on the ground, in the air or at sea, within hundreds of miles. DirecNet meshes with the Global Information Grid (GIG), Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and other networks and provides connectivity at the edge of the GIG. DirecNet would use fast-steered directional antennas to substantially boost link power and operating range, and to permit reuse of radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Any DirecNet node can serve as a relay. This will multiply connectivity and extend the range to beyond line of sight.
The team originally hoped to complete the specification by mid-2008, but a more realistic schedule may be mid-2010. My colleague Steve Trimble wrote about DirecNet back in 2005 so this has clearly been in the works for quite some time.
Although most of the DirecNet work be under the governance of ITAR regulations (meaning very limited commercial availability), DirecNet may lead to some transfer of specific modes into the IEEE 802.16 (WiMax) standard and will surely advance the state of the art for directional networking hardware.
Key commercial spinoffs would be software defined radios and small, cheap, lightweight antennas. But hopefully - yes we can always hope - there will be others, like ultra-high-speed connections. That would be cool.
If you've been following DirecNet, please share your thoughts. Could this be a gamechanger?