DARPA Taps BBN For Low-Powered Radio Networking
BBN Technologies (which played a key role in the invention of the ARPANET/Internet) has won a $12.9 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop low-power radio communications for the battlefield. The program’s aim is to reduce the energy required for mesh or ad hoc networking and communications. In Phase 1 of this program, BBN was able to cut the energy used for delivering information in a tactical, wireless, multihop network by more than 300 times.
Under the contract, BBN of Cambridge, Mass., will perform the second and third phases of the Connectionless Networks program. In the second phase, BBN will develop working prototypes on the technology concepts it presented to DARPA in the first phase. Working field units will be manufactured in the third phase, which is scheduled to begin in June 2006.
The low-duty, radio, multihop networking schemes designed by BBN could lead to smaller batteries with increased life for use in battlefield communications devices, from sensors to radios. More efficient networking and communications protocols will also let remote sensors transmit information over longer durations and allow soldiers to carry fewer batteries and replace them less frequently during missions.
See Washington Technology: DARPA taps BBN for battlefield communications