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«Lab as a Service» Implemented in Test Environment

Communications and management systems must provide information without delay across all management levels. The military and legal requirements for the systems are ensured with evaluations and testing. Thanks to «Lab as a Service», these evaluations can now be implemented faster, while conserving resources.

29.09.2020 | Department Communication and Electromagnetic Protection Systems, Dr. Raphael Rolny

Computers connected to servers and networks. In a cloud of thoughts above the server, military components are connected to each other.
Thanks to «Lab as a Service» complex communication networks can now be controlled conveniently from a distance.

If communications systems are evaluated today, they need to be checked according to various criteria. This includes, for example

  • scaling: Expansion of the networks to the entire application area of Switzerland
  • degradation: Behaviour of remaining systems if parts of the network fail
  • and the dynamic behaviour of large networks.

Checking this criteria requires complex test scenarios in very large networks.

Such complex test scenarios can only be implemented in an automated test environment with virtual, software-based emulations, in other words, imitating the functions of real systems, as these can be operated in large numbers on a computer server and globally controlled.

The combination of these types of virtual systems with real hardware devices enable the implementation of large networks which behave realistically. It would not be possible to coordinate and orchestrate such test scenarios «manually» and the use of various real communications systems is not economical in the evaluation phase.

armasuisse’s Science and Technology research department Communication and Electromagnetic Protection has now successfully implemented the «Lab as a Service» concept in a specially developed test environment for current evaluations and testing. The following main goals will be achieved with this infrastructure, which can be remotely controlled:

  • Implementation of larger networks with the combination of virtual and real components.
  • Massive reduction of the required materials as well as personnel resources for implementing the test scenarios.
  • Reduction of effort to repeat the tests.

The major advantage of this concept is that the required infrastructure, particularly computer servers, can be expanded such that tests and trials can be performed from anywhere. Up to now, these were only performed on location in laboratories or in the field. Thanks to the option of remote control, it is now possible to perform testing from home workplaces. Over the last few months, this was a profitable experience that had a positive impact on the current evaluation.

This new test environment will allow the entire telecommunications infrastructure of the armed forces, including future applications and management information systems, to be examined across all projects in the future. The advantage of this is that various communications systems can be tested together in a network instead of individually. Other systems are to be tested and evaluated in this manner later.