SNC TRAX® software (SNC Tactical Radio Application eXtension): A JADC Game-Changer
“SNC TRAX is Joint All-Domain Command and Control,” the U.S. military commander exclaimed following a recent exercise.
They had just witnessed SNC TRAX enable the U.S. military’s future Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) network-of-networks to manage and move data from multiple sensors and nearly two-dozen traditionally incompatible and geographically disparate multi-domain radios, sensors, networks and weapons to create a common operational picture (COP).
This allows commanders to choose and assign shooters to targets via direct machine-to-machine links, often within seconds.
Over the decades, the U.S. military has acquired a bewildering array of communications networks, systems, messages and data formats. Services and individual units operate multiple communications platforms and formats that are incompatible. As a result, different parts of the U.S. military often have a difficult, even impossible time communicating and sharing data. In addition, systems do not speak the same language or protocol. The issue of “Stove-Piped” systems and “Non-Standardized/Proprietary Protocols” have become one of the leading causes of interoperability issues.
This means that on the battlefield, units may need one radio to talk within the unit, another radio to communicate with higher headquarters and a different one to communicate with aircraft overhead. In addition, communications may be delayed when units rely on a central command location to reformat and relay a message to another unit because of incompatible devices or file formats.
SNC TRAX overcomes these shortfalls by leveraging military and commercial open-based standards to connect platforms, ground units and operations centers using a wide range of communications and data systems. It abstracts the new disparate language/interface into the SNC TRAX common API, making it backward compatible with platform internal and external systems.
SNC TRAX works with existing communications systems and is interoperable with all current Programs of Record. The software utilizes a Common Data Engine allowing its use on various operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Android. SNC TRAX has been proven in operational environments in the hands of tactical operators, operations center personnel, aircrews and ground units worldwide.
“The SNC TRAX software provides an operationally proven solution capable of removing some of the key barriers preventing our forces from realizing the overwhelming potential of networking our sensors, weapons and systems,” said Thomas Klonk, director of programs for SNC. “Connecting systems to the ‘tactical internet’ has been our team’s singular focus for the past eight years, and we believe that we have made some significant progress.”
SNC TRAX is a game-changer in solving the longstanding interoperability challenges stemming from incompatible and disparate message protocols across the battlefield. With SNC TRAX inserted into the operational architecture, a true air-to-ground COP will be accessible, allowing virtually any platform to share information, issue tasking and provide enhanced situational awareness in real-time for the next Great Power Competition.
“Secure communication across systems, networks and domains is essential to battlespace awareness,” said Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Mission Solutions and Technologies business area. “Listening to our customers, SNC has created and invested in SNC TRAX as an all-domain solution with the most system, sensor and radar integrations. SNC TRAX delivers the interoperability our customers need to achieve full battlespace awareness and accomplish the mission.”
SNC TRAX overcomes these challenges by leveraging military and commercial open-based standards to connect platforms, ground units and operations centers across domains. Among the features and benefits SNC TRAX will provide:
• Utilizes a Common Data Engine allowing use on various operating systems, including Windows, Linux and Android;
• Allows sharing of digital situational awareness data, C2 information, weapon and battlefield sensor information and video;
• Facilitates the continuous and rapid integration and fielding of new sensors, systems, networks, weapons and other technologies across the JADC2 architecture;
• Serves as a common data fabric layer through its non-proprietary open standard-based API/ICD and Open Mission Network Interface GOTS Data Protocol, simplifying the insertion of new technology into existing architectures/Programs of Record; and
• Provides users with an integrated multi-domain (air, ground, sea and space) tool that supports the use of coded waveforms for two-way data transmissions between airborne platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground units, space sensors and tactical headquarters using multiple waveforms, message formats and data protocols.
SNC TRAX is proven in operational environments in the hands of tactical operators, operations center personnel, aircrews and ground units worldwide. It has been operationally fielded since 2012 and is currently in use by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and coalition partners.