Managed ethernet switches are the solution for scenarios that involve multiple devices, or require redundancy, monitoring, and control over the application network. Managed switches are remotely programmable via Web or programmatic interfaces to allow pre- and dynamic configuration. These switches provide key features to support today’s UAV applications. primary among these are quality of service, VLANs, spanning tree, and redundancy.
Each application that uses an Ethernet network has inherent requirements for its proper operation. Digitized audio (voice over IP – VoIP) connections require very little bandwidth but are sensitive to delay - called latency- and to the variation in delay—called jitter. Video connections are likewise sensitive to latency and jitter and can use significant bandwidth. Tactical and targeting displays use varying amounts of bandwidth but must also remain close to “real-time” to be useful. Each application requests that the network provide it with a certain quality of service (QoS) by setting values in the network packet headers. Managed switches then implement constraints that prioritized traffic with higher QoS settings.
Multiple switches can be used to provide redundancy and to eliminate the possibility of a single point of network failure. The switches are interconnected so that the failure of a switch or link between switches can be automatically rerouted. Switches use spanning tree and other algorithms to implement redundant paths and sometimes balance network traffic.
For a period of time, until all mobile electronics are Ethernet-based, other wired communications technologies will continue to be used: USB and serial communications among them. COTS switches are available with all these capabilities, but they are not rugged enough, require AC power, are too large, and weigh too much.
We develope small-size military rugged and tailor-made IP-based communications solutions for UAV applications.