goTenna to Provide Mission-Critical Communications Network Monitoring and Analysis for U.S. Air Force 818th Operations Support Squadron

Feb 6, 2023

About goTenna

goTenna believes that preparedness leads to better outcomes – a multi-layered service goTenna provides straight out of the box with network setup, training, and execution. We are advancing universal access to connectivity by building the world's most intelligent and scalable mobile mesh networks. goTenna is the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, providing off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices, as well as augmenting traditional communications networks. This technology enables mobile, long-range connectivity even without cellular service, Wi-Fi, or satellite connectivity. goTenna's drive to create resilient connectivity began during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas failed. goTenna believes that preparedness leads to better outcomes – a multi-layered service goTenna provides straight out of the box with network setup, training, and execution. Based in Brooklyn, New York, goTenna is a proud partner of the United States military, first responders, and law enforcement, among others, and is backed by investors, including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta.

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In partnership with Draco Spark Cell, goTenna radios will analyze device insights within AFSPECWAR’s mesh network platform.

BROOKLYN, NY (February 7th, 2023) — goTenna, the world’s leading mobile mesh networking platform, secured a Small Business Innovation Research contract award for Decoupled Network Operations Platform (DNOP) for Secure Decentralized Mesh Communications. This contract award will allow goTenna radios and smartphones to collect mesh networking insights with the eventual goal of transforming every radio in the goTenna mesh network into a distributed radio frequency (RF) sensor. goTenna has future plans for follow-on work to allow other radio types, and their frequency ranges, to integrate with DNOP’s core model and design, giving warfighters a more comprehensive system.

goTenna’s Phase I feasibility study proved the need for Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) operators to have mesh networking insights. By taking goTenna’s current mesh networking protocols and incorporating measurable key performance insights, DNOP will deliver that capability. When displayed as a network health interface, operators can identify direct or indirect disruptions on the network. goTenna is offering an important insight for contested environments with electronic warfare considerations by factoring in frequency range analytics to identify if perceived intentional RF interferences occur with the ability for autonomous event notifications.

In this AFRL and AFWERX-enabled Phase II effort, Draco Spark Cell and goTenna are innovatively creating a DNOP prototype for mesh networks. When diverse inputs, like device health, network performance, and security events, are aggregated and analyzed, a variety of network insights can be developed to assist Airmen with their communications or tactics. A wide area of forward disparate reporting nodes can also be combined with passive or deliberate spectrum collecting devices to support AFSPECWAR near-peer operations. By using goTenna’s networking solutions in a contested, degraded environment, AFSPECWAR operators will have enhanced situational awareness to achieve mission objectives, even if all other primary and secondary radios are unavailable, intentionally jammed, or broken.

DNOP goTenna Diagram
Illustration of Decoupled Network Operations Platform (DNOP) for Secure Decentralized Mesh Communications

“goTenna excels in environments where the combination of critical communication and a low RF footprint can make the difference between mission success and mission failure,” said Ari Schuler, goTenna CEO. "Our DNOP capability will optimize battlefield mesh network performance and tactics to counter both man-made and natural RF impediments.”

2022 AFA National Convention floor
This award and concept were featured on the 2022 AFA National Convention floor by Draco Spark Cell representing AFWERX Spark.

“goTenna’s size, weight, and power make it the perfect choice to develop the Decoupled Network Operations Platform capability for Air Force Special Warfare,” said Master Sgt. Shea Martin, Chief of Innovation, Draco Spark Cell. 

This year’s AFA event was attended by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force officers and enlisted members, civilians, veterans, as well as defense industry leaders and political representatives. 

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Draco Spark Cell

The 18th Air Support Operation Group chartered the Draco Spark Cell in March of 2022. As part of the Air Force's AFWERX Spark program, Draco works to bring next-level capabilities to the Tactical Air Control Parties Weapon System. Through Research, Development, and Test, leveraging SBIR and STTR programs Draco has partnered with Industry to work on advanced technologies ensuring TACP is ready to meet the challenges of future warfare.

www.dracotacp.com/projects

About goTenna 

goTenna is advancing universal access to connectivity by building the world's most intelligent and scalable mobile mesh networks. goTenna is the world's leading mobile mesh networking company, providing off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices, as well as augmenting traditional communications networks. This technology enables mobile, long-range connectivity without cell, wifi, or satellite connectivity. goTenna's drive to create resilient connectivity began during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas failed. goTenna’s products are currently used by over 300 law enforcement, military, and public safety agencies worldwide. Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is backed by investors including Founders Fund, Union Square Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Bloomberg Beta. 

www.gotenna.com

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) 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 11,000 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.

About AFWERX

AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. 

Additional information is available at: https://www.afwerx.com/.

About AFVentures

AFVentures invests in emerging technologies to scale Department of the Air Force capabilities, strengthening the US industrial base that empowers Airmen and Guardians by incentivizing private, for-profit investment in national security interests. Our success is achieved by connecting novel commercial solutions with defense problem sets, de-risking Airmen and Guardian initiatives to fill capability gaps and transition technologies. Learn more at https://afwerx.com/afventures-overview/.

Disclaimer:

This material is based upon work supported by the Air Force Research Lab/AFWERX under Contract No. FA864922P1095.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Air Force Research Lab/AFWERX.