A military Ethernet Switch (or network switch) is a specialized networking device designed to provide reliable and secure network connectivity in harsh military environments. Military ethernet switches connect multiple devices together on a Local Area Network (LAN), allowing them to communicate with each other, and are typically designed with unique features to meet the requirements of harsh-environment military applications.
Application of Mil-Spec Ethernet Switches
Military Ethernet switches are used in a variety of military applications, including communication systems, command and control centers and ground, sea and air vehicles including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV / UAS).
Mil-spec switches are typically designed to operate on low voltage DC power and may include features such as power over Ethernet (PoE) or redundant power supplies to ensure continuous operation. Military ethernet switches typically support advanced networking protocols such as Quality of Service (QoS) and multicast routing, which are critical to ensure reliable communication in mission-critical applications. The devices are designed to perform reliably in the presence of electromagnetic interference, and typically include advanced security features to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive information.
Ruggedized Ethernet Switch Design Standards
To ensure high reliability, military-grade / mil-spec ethernet switches will often feature ruggedised enclosures, components and connectors in order to withstand extreme temperatures, high humidity, shock, vibration and other harsh environmental conditions common in challenging military deployments.
Military Ethernet switches must meet specific military standards and specifications to ensure their suitability for use in harsh military environments. Common military specifications that military Ethernet switches must meet include:
MIL-STD-810: This standard covers environmental testing, including temperature, humidity, vibration, and shock.
MIL-STD-461: This standard covers electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing, which ensures that the switch can operate in the presence of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from other electronic devices.
MIL-STD-461E: This is an update to MIL-STD-461 that includes additional EMC testing requirements, including radiated emissions and susceptibility testing.
MIL-STD-1275: This standard covers power requirements for military vehicles, including input voltage range, transient voltage protection, and power conditioning.
MIL-STD-1553: This standard covers data bus communications in military aircraft, including network architecture, electrical characteristics, and protocol requirements.