Marines using radio (Cpl. Drew Tech/USMC)

DARPA seeks tech for keeping comm in military operations

When military wireless networks lose connectivity, it can take two minutes to re-establish the link. In dynamic wireless environments, troops can spend more time trying to establish the network than sending data.

To help solve that problem, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency issued a broad agency announcement for the Network Universal Persistence program, calling for radio technology that can maintain network reliability in the face of frequent signal degradation that routinely occurs in military operational environments.

The Network UP seeks technology and prototype radio and network components that would allow military wireless networks to send data over dynamic, unstable wireless links by separating the control and data planes across different wireless links.

Current radios send the network control information and the data using the same wireless link. But isolating the critical control channel information in a separate, robust wireless link will allow creation of a protected control channel that can maintain network reliability even when the data channel is lost.

The two-phase, 36-month program will develop and test system architectures, technologies and prototypes that enable reliable wireless communications during signal degradation and that can be used with legacy radios and networks.

Proposal abstracts are due Jan. 22. More information is available here.

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