On Distributed Communications Series

VII. Tentative Engineering Specifications and Preliminary Design for a High-Data-Rate Distributed Network Switching Node


This Memorandum is one in a series of eleven RAND Memoranda detailing the Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network, a proposed digital data communications system based on a distributed network concept, as presented in Vol. I in the series.[1] Various other items in the series deal with specific features of the concept, results of experimental modelings, engineering design considerations, and background and future implications.

The series, entitled On Distributed Communications, is a part of The RAND Corporation's continuing program of research under U.S. Air Force Project RAND, and is related to research in the field of command and control and in governmental and military planning and policy making.

The present Memorandum, the seventh in the series, is a consideration of the engineering specifications of the proposed system's Switching Node. It is felt that a small, unmanned Switching Node (yet having higher throughput rates than are found in current large installations occupying thousands of square feet of floor space and requiring many people to maintain operations) can be built. The Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network proposal revolves around the feasibility of utilizing this small, unmanned Switching Node.

The Node is described in sufficient detail to estimate the equipment required. Timing calculations, together with a projected implementation scheme, provide a strong foundation for the belief that the construction and use of the Node is practical.

This Memorandum will be of interest primarily to those concerned with the details of design and operation of the distributed network. It may also be of casual interest to communications systems planners and designers having need to transmit digital data. The two other principal components of the distributed network- -the microwave link and the Multiplexing Station--are described in Vols. VI and VIII in the series.

[1] A list of all items in the series is found on p. 83.

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