January 23, 2012

Contract Award: SAIC to develop smart phones' mobile ad-hoc networks for U.S. DARPA


News Report

As announced by U.S. DoDSAIC was awarded a 8 M$ contract to provide a flexible Smartphone Mobile Ad-hoc Network, associated development, and test framework to ensure successful integration and validation of content-based Mobile Edge Networking technology developer solutions.

Work will be performed in SAIC's McLean's headquarters, and is expected to be completed by June 2014. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the contracting activity.

The Context

SAIC is already working with DARPA for developing ad-hoc networks aimed at enabling network centric connectivity for ground and airborne vehicles, as well as interoperabilty among current, future, proprietary and non-proprietary communications devices.

Most of this work is performed in the context of DARPA's MAINGATE program, which seeks to develop the next generation Network Centric Radio System with additional capabilities and an assured affordable unit price to the user. MAINGATE will enable heterogeneous groups of radios to be integrated into a heterogeneous network tolerant to high latency and packet loss. The technologies developed for the program will permit affordable, tactical, real-time, high fidelity video, data and voice services to be deployed in a networked environment to support tactical operations in maneuver or dismounted operations for line-of-site and beyond-line-of-site communications on the move and stopped.

The system has been successfully tested among a large number of low and high bandwidth users, including video, along with voice and data. Specifically, MAINGATE was installed and tested in configurations using aerostats, unmanned aerial vehicles (e.g., Fire Scout and BAT UASs) and Stryker vehicles, to provide networking among several tactical forces performing various simulated missions.

MAINGATE prototype radio use a mobile ad hoc networking capability to link devices via IP-based transmissions. Reliability issues such as signal loss and interference are mitigated by technologies such as mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) protocols, multiple input, multiple output (MIMO), dynamic spectrum access and disruption-tolerant networking.

References: Defense.gov (1), DefenseSystems (2), SAIC (3), DARPA (4)

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