network emulation

Synthetic tactical network

To experiment with mission networks effectively, creating a scalable network emulation environment is essential. This emulation framework should allow software and systems engineers to execute real-time, multi-node test scenarios using multi-processor commodity hardware. Larger and more complex scenarios can be run across multiple servers interconnected over a network, leveraging the framework’s distributed emulation capabilities.

Such an emulation environment supports a wide range of experimentation, including routing architecture design, cyber research, and command and control (C2) application testing. Additionally, the framework should provide a flexible environment for implementing various types of software-defined radio technologies.

Network Emulation


To complement physical layer modeling, it is also critical to incorporate an accurate routing architecture into the emulation testbed. Utilizing open-source router software with Linux containers is an effective method to achieve this integration. Linux containers are lightweight virtual environments that isolate process groups from the rest of the system. Unlike traditional system virtualization, containers can use a network namespace, which includes its own interfaces, routing tables, neighbor table, and Netfilter rules. This capability allows multiple ciphertext and plaintext routers to coexist within the same operating system instance, enhancing the emulation’s flexibility and realism.