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Author: Research Brains
by Research Brains
Posted: Apr 04, 2024

Qualnet – Network Simulation Software

What is Qualnet?

QualNet is a testing and simulation tool owned and provided by Scalable Network Technologies, Inc. As network simulation software, it acts as a planning, testing, and training tool which mimics the behavior of a physical communications network.

Qualnet in Research

QualNet enables the evaluation of on-the-move communication networks faster and with more realism than any other tool. It uses a network digital twin to digitally represent the entire network, the various protocol layers, radios, antennas, and devices. QualNet employs state of the art Parallel Discrete Event Simulation (PDES) algorithms designed to leverage multi-core and parallel processors to dramatically increase the event processing rate and hence simulation execution speeds to run high-fidelity simulations of large networks at faster than real-time speeds.The QualNet network simulation platform (QualNet) is used by planners, analysts, IT technicians, and communication specialists to evaluate the performance of communication networks under different operational conditions and to identify and mitigate identified operational issues. The analysis proceeds by first creating a simulation model, or scenario, representing the network and its operating environment, executing the scenario and analyzing the results.

Qualnet Applications

QualNet Projects design and test the scalable networks to lead a sophisticated analysis. In essence, it mimics the behavior of real large-scale networks that is up to 1000s of nodes. Especially, it allows fine modeling of the physical layer in all networks.

What’s New in QualNet?

Unlike other tools, QualNet offers distinct software for network security projects. To design a security model in any wired, wireless, or ad-hoc networks, it uses Exata Network Emulator. To illustrate this, it supports the following security models,


Radio Jamming

Virus Attacks

DoS and also DDoS

Signal Intelligent Attack

Features of QualNet

The major features of QualNet include the following:

QualNet can model a variety of heterogeneous networks (wired, wireless, under-water, satellite, etc.) with thousands of nodes exchanging different types of traffic. These scenarios can run at faster than real-time speed, making it possible to quickly perform "what-if" analysis of the network’s performance under different operating conditions.

QualNet supports a large number of high-fidelity models for network devices, protocols from all layers of the protocol stack, applications, terrains, propagation models, and mobility models. The model library includes models for wireless technologies (e.g., Wi-Fi and WiMax); cellular networks (e.g., GSM, UMTS, LTE, and 5G); military waveforms (e.g., Link-11, Link-16); satellite communications; underwater communications; devices such as routers, switches, and access points; indoor, rural, and urban terrain; and many real-world applications. Thus, real-world commercial and tactical networks operating in multiple domains can be modeled and analyzed in QualNet at a high level of fidelity.

QualNet’s Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) interface supports dynamic interactions to modify the operations of a running scenario. For example, users can activate/deactivate nodes and modify the traffic rate of certain applications via the HITL interface.

The QualNet VR-Link interface allows QualNet to network with other constructive simulators, virtual reality applications, and Computer-Generated Force (CGF) tools, such as OTB and OneSAF, using High Level Architecture (HLA) or Distributed Interaction Simulation (DIS).

The QualNet GUI can be used to visualize different types of packet flows as the scenario is running to provide an operational view of the network. Dynamic statistics can also be displayed while a scenario is running.

Orientation change extension FFC for Standard SIM

QualNet’s Analyzer can be used to plot hundreds of metrics post simulation. QualNet also provides for the generation of detailed time-stamped tables in an SQL database, from which queries and reports such as connectivity among nodes, throughput, latency, path loss, packet drop, etc., can be produced. Third-party tools, such as Tableau, can also be used to create reports from the statistics database.

QualNet’s heatmap feature can be used to refine a network layout based on the signal coverage of wireless transmitters in the scenario, which can be displayed graphically.

The QualNet framework is highly flexible and extensible: models for new protocols, devices, and applications can be easily developed and incorporated in simulation scenarios. Highfidelity models can also be developed by incorporating actual code from protocol implementation.

Autonomous Mining

Mining equipment is frequently on-the-move and must rely on wireless communication technologies to report status and receive commands. The wireless communications must work reliably in a hostile environment that includes ever-shifting terrain, an expanding underground labyrinth of shafts and levels, and interfering radio signals from other equipment.

A major manufacturer of mining equipment used QualNetto model communications in a mining environment.

Onboard sensors on the equipment continually report hydraulic pressure, temperature, RPM, filter status, to monitor machine health, maximize uptime, and reduce cost per ton. The wireless network relays the data among constantly moving equipment to a central monitoring system.

QualNet was used to model signal to noise, interference, channel usage, packet loss and packet delivery, and was used to optimize network parameters. This helps the equipment manufacturer to ensure reliable network connectivity, thus improving productivity and minimizing equipment down time and associated costs.

Intelligent Transportation

Intelligent Transportation Systems, which included vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, is a new technology to improve safety on the road and avoid accidents by relaying information between vehicles in the same areas using applications on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) radios over 802.11p.

Wireless communication among vehicles, and between vehicles and infrastructure, promises to greatly reduce collisions and loss of life in the future.

Our network modeling capabilities will help with researching security, interoperability of devices, radio interference or network congestion that could affect safety, cyber vulnerability, performance, liability, and others issues.

Network Simulation Models for the Virtual World

The Korean Automotive Technology Institute (KATECH) has selected QualNet to integrate with their driving simulator.

QualNet will provide simulation models of the communications, using its built-in Wireless Access in a Vehicular Environment (WAVE, 802.11p) protocol model, and also models interference, fading, and path loss in rural and urban environments.

Wireshark is used with QualNet for packet sniffing, and to check the performance and interoperability of actual WAVE devices.

The system makes use of QualNet’s scalability and simulation modeling and analysis capabilities and can represent scenarios with thousands of vehicles.

QualNet is helping KATECH investigate and solve many vehicle communications development issues in their lab with our network tools, by representing multiple real-world environments without the risk of accidents using computer network models.

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Author: Research Brains

Research Brains

Member since: Mar 21, 2024
Published articles: 12

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