DARPA tests data link

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency officials successfully tested a data link last month that helps pilots attack small, mobile targets.

The Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) gave air and ground units wireless access to the Global Information Grid, the Defense Department's backbone of voice, video and data systems. The military had needed a wired connection for warfighters and analysts to share some data exchanged during exercises, according to a June 28 DARPA statement.

The agency used TTNT to connect a jet fighter, a communications aircraft and vehicle, and a command and control center during tests in May at the Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division at China Lake, Calif. TTNT allowed operators at the ground station to access electro-optical and infrared images on the jet fighter and remotely control a video camera on the communications aircraft, according to the statement.

TTNT is a fast, secure network that transfers data without the time and labor-intensive network planning required by previous systems, according to the statement.

The successful test gets TTNT ready for the Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment 2004 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., next month. During the military exercise, TTNT will let intelligence analysts access data from air and ground sensors and combine it with imagery from enemy air and ground forces, the statement said.

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