goTenna demonstrated a 26,000 square-mile network using aerial relays at an Austin, Texas, demonstration where multiple industry partners and federal and state agencies participated.
BROOKLYN, NY (October, 17 2023) — goTenna, the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, completed a significant milestone demonstration under an AFWERX Phase II contract led by the 147th Air Support Operations Squadron (147 ASOS), based out of Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas. Under this Phase II contract, goTenna showcased how low-cost mobile mesh networks increase interoperability and connectivity in multi-agency disaster response situations, ultimately creating safer and more effective operations.
During the demonstration, goTenna and the 147 ASOS simulated a disaster response in Austin, Texas. This test event assumed power outages and degraded cellular connectivity, similar to what is experienced during hurricane, flood, and wildland firefighting responses. Multiple organizations gathered to rapidly construct an ad-hoc, off-grid network for interoperable communications and critical coordination of multi-agency responses. The event involved a compilation of six different federal, state, and civilian responders building a 61 linear-mile network covering 2,500 square miles in under 3 hours. Additionally, the event showcased two rotary wing assets’ integration with ground teams, enhancing situational awareness from the tactical operator to an operations center. With the assistance of two rotary wing aerial assets and two fixed goTenna Edge Relays, the network covered over 26,000 square miles.
“Partnering with small companies like goTenna enables new innovative solutions to solve some of the hardest problems, which is the goal of the AFWERX program and the 147 ASOS,” said Major Kris Bartels. “This new dual-use capability will provide greater throughput of information, increasing the ability to share and receive data across dissimilar networks and response partners. This solution will reduce duplicative efforts and response times, helping preserve our sacred relationship with our communities."
goTenna's team augmented the lightweight Pro X2 mesh radio with new goTenna capabilities, which were developed and tested through the AFWERX contract to create a rapidly deployable, interoperable mesh network that provides superior support to multi-agency operations. Capabilities demonstrated included:
- Interoperability: Unifying users operating ATAK with iOS and Android devices through the goTenna Pro App, a TAK server, and the goTenna Portal onto a single common operating picture via goTenna’s new interoperability features
- Fronthaul: Connecting edge users with an operations center to provide two-way connectivity and messaging via goTenna’s new one-to-one fronthaul capability
- Remote Relay Health Check: Improved network validation of real-time performance via the Relay Health Check feature, which enables remote diagnostics of active relays within the network topology
"goTenna is committed to expanding our offerings to provide customers with a full suite of capabilities that can extend and support communications in any operational environment," said Ari Schuler, goTenna CEO. "The AFWERX program and the 147 ASOS have been critical in advancing the maturity of these new features. We are grateful for this amazing public-private partnership as we continue to deliver advanced capabilities to the US Air Force."
goTenna’s Edge Relay and software products are available to select partners. Contact email@example.com to see if your organization is eligible for participation in the prototype program. For a general capabilities brief on goTenna’s ecosystem of products, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a mission briefing.
“The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government. This material is based upon work supported by the Air Force Research Lab/AFWERX under Contract No. Phase II FA864922P0919”
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit www.afresearchlab.com.
The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory brings cutting edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: www.afwerx.com.
About 147th Air Support Operations Squadron
Texas Air National Guard’s 147 ASOS is composed of Tactical Air Control Party members who specialize in Command and Control, Strike and Liaison for State and Federal mission sets. Additionally, the squadron has Air Force Special Warfare Support Airmen who ensure the readiness and availability of equipment, vehicles, and resources to respond to statewide and global requests at a moment's notice.