Pentagon awards $15.7M to advance university science and engineering research

The Department of Defense today will award $15.7 million to 24 universities in 18 states to perform advanced research on everything from biometrics and wireless sensor networks to  anti-radio jamming technology.

Since 2005, the DoD has sent over $30 million to over 60 universities to advance all manner of technology under the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) program. The Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research all solicit proposals using a defense-wide broad agency announcement.  

Academic researchers in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, US Virgin Islands, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming were eligible to receive awards under this competition.

A few of this year’s awards included West Virginia University’s Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) which looks at biometric identification technology. West Virginia University's Center for Identification Technology Research, has a partnership with the FBI  to be the agency’s lead academic partner in biometrics researchCITeR’s research spans the spectrum of physiological biometric identification technologies including traditional algorithms such as iris, face, fingerprint biometric systems test and performance evaluation, vulnerability reduction, and system level assessment.

Another award to North Dakota State University will help the schools researchers develop faster, more secure wireless sensor networks.  For example, recent technology papers from the school detail work being done on heterogeneous sensor networks.  Researchers detailed a secure and efficient routing protocol for such networks called two tier secure routing (TTSR). TTSR takes advantage of powerful high-end sensors in an HSN. Our security analysis demonstrates that TTSR can defend typical attacks on sensor routing. Our performance evaluation shows that TTSR has higher delivery ratio, lower end-to-end delay and energy consumption than a popular sensor network routing protocol, according to the paper.

In the anti-radio jamming realm the University of Nebraska has been talking about a way to develop a spread spectrum communication system for the secure transmission of digital information. According to a recent paper, the technology is based on the unconventional self-encoding principles that the university’s researchers have developed for the modulation and detection of spread spectrum signals.  

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