Details emerge on hybrid mesh network system for EU UGV program

by Alexander Stronell

Three THeMIS UGVs pictured during iMUGS testing in Belgium in June 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)

Details of the mesh communications system being developed under the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme, the European Defense Fund (EDF) project for a common unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), have been released. revealed to Janes.

speaking to Janesan industry source familiar with the iMUGS communications effort provided details on the goals and testing of the hybrid network system.

The iMUGS subproject for a mesh communication system is being undertaken by Finnish telecommunications company Bittium, part of the consortium of companies led by Estonian Milrem Robotics.

“We are developing communications, which is based on mesh technology and which allows all vehicles, troops… [to be] part of a large network, and all traffic is IP-based [internet protocol traffic]“, said the source Janes. “There is no predefined structure, so you can add vehicles or nodes, and you can delete [them],” he added.

Wireless mesh networks are made up of communication nodes (interconnected receivers and transmitters) that transmit information to each other. UGVs can be interconnected with several other nodes – for example, manned vehicles and command posts – to facilitate communication, command and control and situational awareness. In a combat scenario, a unit will use a tactical network covering several square kilometres.

Mesh communication nodes are not necessarily only built into vehicles, but can also, in principle, be carried by any suitable platform, including a dismounted soldier. Additionally, any unit can connect to the mesh to take control of connected UGVs.

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Details on the mesh communication system being developed as part of the Integrated Modular Unmanned…