Sunday, July 16, 2006

BAE SYSTEMS Wins DARPA Contract for Wireless Tactical Networks

BAE Systems has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the next generation in wireless tactical network protocols for the U.S. military.

The objective of DARPA's Control-Based Mobile Ad-hoc Network (CBMANET) contract is to research, design, develop, and evaluate a new protocol stack for networks of autonomous mobile communication devices referred to as mobile ad-hoc networks, or MANETs. Within a MANET, each node operates not only as an end-system but as a router capable for forwarding traffic and forming a network free of any fixed infrastructure.

BAE Systems said flexibility makes MANETs an attractive networking option for tactical operations, compared to classic networking approaches that adapt poorly to rapid network changes and achieve only a fraction of the potential performance. CBMANET will improve tactical network performance such as throughput and latency by an order of magnitude relative to current state-of-the-art practices.

The contract includes a base award worth $7.78 million over 18 months, with the potential of growing to $13.3 million over 30 months, if the option is fully exercised.

BAE Systems is leading a multi-disciplinary research team to develop a successful CBMANET system based on network coding and the principles of control theory. BAE Systems' subcontractors are the California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, and Stow Research.

The CBMANET program will culminate in field demonstrations at the Fort Dix / Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command San Diego is the contracting agent.

See also