Can myriad wireless networks connect as one fast, secure system?

DARPA looking for Holy Grail of wireless networking

can-myriad-wireless-networks-connect-as-one-fast-secure-system
Credit: reuters

Getting the innumerable wireless networks the military and some commercial enterprises to communicate just doesn’t work in many cases, creating serious communications and security problems for warfighters and others interacting with those networks.

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Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are looking for ways to change that problem with a new program called Dynamic Network Adaptation for Mission Optimization (DyNAMO).

According to DARPA, DyNAMO) will solve critical problems in the wireless arena:

“Two limitations of current networks prevent the collaboration needed to optimize the effectiveness of airborne missions. First, the lack of interoperability among the many existing networks inhibits information sharing among different aircraft involved in a mission. Second, legacy networks require configuration in advance of a mission and cannot adapt to mission dynamics. Typical dynamics include time-varying jamming and bursts in network traffic due to evolving operational concepts (e.g., time-sensitive collaborative targeting, networked weapons, and non- traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance),” the agency stated.

dynamo update 619x316 DARPA

The DyNAMO program will remove these barriers by developing networking technology that creates interoperability between currently incompatible networks (due to formatting, security levels, etc.). The program will initially focus on interoperability among existing networks (Link 16, Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT), Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) and Multi- function Advanced Data Link (MADL)) and will evolve to develop adaptive network technologies and demonstrate interoperability across legacy and future dynamic networks/waveforms, DARPA stated.

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DARPA says the network technology developed on the DyNAMO program will be demonstrated on radio hardware developed on the agency’s Communications in Contested Environments (C2E) program. C2E is designing new radio and waveform development architectures and demonstrating the architectures through radio-level interoperable implementations of standard airborne network waveforms and commercial smart phone technology where application processing, real-time processing, and hardware functions of a software defined radio are separately managed, validated, and updated to ensure rapid deployment of capabilities, DARPA stated.

DARPA said it has identified two primary elements that are necessary to achieve the goals of the DyNAMO program: 1) an Information-based Network Framework that enables critical information to be shared between networks that differ in characteristics such as format, security levels, protocols, and capacity; and 2) a Network Optimizer that adapts radio parameters to create the pathways to meet time-varying information-sharing priorities in the dynamic, contested airborne RF environment. A third program element integrates the two technology developments into a system of real radios.

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