Eglin Tests Airborne Wireless Communications Router

Officials with the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla., this month wrapped up developmental flight testing of a wireless router destined for the Air Force’s Litening and Sniper targeting pods, said unit officials. The router is a software upgrade for the two pods, which B-1 bombers and legacy fighters carry; it is called Net-T for network tactical. With it, ground forces equipped with the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver-5, a small-sized touchscreen device, can communicate with each other and with the aircraft. Until now, ROVER-5 could only send and receive data from aircraft. “This is a new capability the Air Force does not currently deploy with and it has not been tested until now,” said Capt. Joseph Rojas of the 40th FLTS and the Net-T project test engineer, in Eglin’s Jan. 18 release. The router provides real-time information and images without relying on satellites, radio, or other traditional communications, states the release. Squadron officials said they are still compiling the data from the 23 test missions, which began in October. Air Force officials anticipate that the router could be operational by 2014 following operational testing. (Eglin report by Samuel King Jr.)