The EXata network emulator allows the user to create a network digital twin, for real-time network simulation and emulation that replicates the behavior of a network. The emulator provides an exact, high-quality, reproduction of external behavior so that the emulated system is indistinguishable from the real system. SCALABLE has leveraged its innovative network digital twin capability to develop the Mission-CLONE. Mission CLONE provides advanced training and assessment solutions to assess and improve cyber resilience of Joint All Domain Command and Control missions.
A network digital twin refers to a computer simulation model of the communication network together with its operating environment and the application traffic carried by it. It can be used to study the behavior of its physical counterpart in a low-cost and zero-risk environment, either in theater or in the laboratory. To do so effectively, the digital twin must have sufficient fidelity to accurately reflect the network dynamics due to the interplay between the communication protocol, device configurations, network topology, application traffic, the physical environment, and the cyber attack. For instance, the location, intensity, and duration of a jamming or denial of service attack launched by an adversary will determine their impact on communications that are critical to the mission. The interference needed to disrupt streaming video may be very different from that needed to disrupt Position Location Information (PLI). And the digital twin must have sufficient fidelity to capture the network dynamics and thus appropriately discriminate among cyber attacks that are a mere annoyance from those that have the potential to disrupt the mission timeline.
SCALABLE’s Mission CLONE provides the following innovative capabilities:
- Integration of cyber and kinetic domains, without modifications
- Includes wireless and tactical waveforms and their specific vulnerabilities
- Integration with Cyber-Physical Systems and simulations (e.g., submarine control systems)
- Integrates non-IP communications (e.g. 1553 bus)
- Attacks can be launched against the network and connected weapon and C2 subsystems
- Small hardware footprint to support in-theatre use.
- Ability to include known and zero-day vulnerabilities
- Assess in parallel:
- Command and staff to modify operations and complete the mission, and
- Network defenders to detect and react to threats as they occur
Mission CLONE will ingest target tracks, force positions, intelligence, and environmental factors, which can then be refined with spectrum management and cyber threats. The network digital twin will execute faster than real-time and will be subject to real or mission-relevant potential cyberspace operations, depending on OPFOR positions, emission ranges, and EW/cyber capabilities. It will provide visualization and detailed metrics such as connectivity, latency, packet drop, etc., and how these impact the mission. Mission CLONE will be used to compare and evaluate multiple Courses of Action (COAs) with varying routes and search areas in light of evolving METOC, spectrum management, network performance, connectivity, and susceptibility to cyber-attacks, to assist in optimizing network configurations, and help assess cyber threat mitigation strategies in the context of the mission.