Monday, August 18, 2008

BBN Develops Disruption Tolerance for Military Networks

BBN Technologies has been awarded $8.9 million in funding by the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the third phase of its Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) program. The program seeks to develop and field network services that deliver critical information reliably even when no end-to-end path exists through the network. Traditional TCP/IP networks rely on stable end-to-end connectivity, but terrain, weather, jamming, and movement or destruction of nodes can interrupt the path and halt the flow of message traffic. BBN said its DTN system can send and receive data reliably even when no stable end-to-end paths exist.

Under this latest award, BBN scientists and engineers will integrate the DTN system into fielded military networks that may combine several different types of nodes, including wireless, satellite, and vehicle-mounted. In addition, BBN will implement a longer term military application; investigate approaches to building large scale networks that self-organize in response to mission needs, and develop methods to maintain both the security and controlled availability of persistent data.

This latest award follows BBN's successful completion of Phases One and Two, which resulted in a working prototype system.

  • In March 2008, BBN Technologies has been awarded $5.7 million in funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the Dynamic Multi-Terabit Core Optical Networks: Architecture, Protocols, Control and Management (CORONET) program. The researchers aim to revolutionize the operation, performance, survivability, and security of the United States' global IP-based inter-networking infrastructure through improved network architecture, protocols, and control and management software. As envisioned, the target CORONET optical network will enable ultra-fast service set-up/tear-down and very fast and efficient recovery from multiple network failures. An important goal of the program is to transition the CORONET technology to commercial telecommunications carriers, as well as to Department of Defense and other US government global networks.

  • BBN was founded in 1948 by MIT professors Richard Bolt and Leo Beranek, along with Robert Newman, with a vision of starting a small, acoustical consulting firm. The company is best know for its pioneering work with the ARPANET (the forerunner of today's Internet) in 1969. It is also credited with the first implementation of packet switching (1969), the first router (1976), and the first network e-mail (1971), which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age. BBN is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • In 2004, two prominent venture capital firms (General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners) acquired the legendary BBN development labs from Verizon. Financial terms were not disclosed.