By Courtney E. Howard
BURLINGTON, Mass. - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., awarded a contract to BAE Systems Advanced Information Technologies in Burlington, Mass. to develop next-generation wireless tactical network protocols for the U.S. military.
The Control-Based Mobile Ad-hoc Network (CBMANET) contract issued by DARPA calls for BAE Systems to research, design, develop, and evaluate a new protocol stack for networks of autonomous mobile communication devices, known as mobile ad-hoc networks or MANETs.
Each node in a MANET acts as a router with which to forward traffic and form a network independent of any fixed infrastructure, and as an end-system; MANETs historically have been considered to be low-performance, although flexible, systems.
DARPA’s CBMANET is intended to boost tactical network performance, including improvements in throughput and latency.
“CBMANET will allow forward deployed mobile units to stay networked to each other and command posts despite connectivity variations due to terrain and other factors,” notes Dr. Nils R. Sandell Jr., BAE Systems’s vice president for advanced information technologies.
BAE Systems is working with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.; Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.; Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Penn.; University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill.; University of Massachusetts in Boston; and Stow Research of Flanders, N.J.
Field demonstrations of the CBMANET program are expected to take place at the Fort Dix/Lakehurst Naval Air Station in N.J.