DARPA funds radio research

Defense Advanced Research projects Agency Web page

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced it has begun its first phase of the Connectionless Network program, designed to develop and field technologies to provide high-efficiency, low-power radio communications.

The results, according to DARPA officials, are critical to developing data transmission schemes that require very small amounts of power to send meaningful bits of information on the battlefield.

DARPA awarded seven contracts totaling about $4 million to different companies for participating in the program. Each contract is worth less than $1 million.

The techniques and technologies include increasing the percentage of data bits relative to total packet bits, lowering the power used by radios to deliver these data bits and exploiting the fundamental broadcast nature of radios to achieve multicasting.

The following contractors are participating:

BAE Systems Advanced Technology Inc., Washington, D.C. (contract value: $891,483).

BBNT Solutions LLC, Cambridge, Mass. ($851,427).

GE Global Research, Niskayuna, N.Y. ($802,113).

General Dynamics Decision Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz. ($199,955).

HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu, Calif. ($859,846).

Raytheon Co., Falls Church, Va. ($798,848).

Wescomm LLC, Ann Arbor, Mich. ($192,884).

During the program's initial 12-month phase, contractors will study innovative technologies with a focus on "radical thinking, not simply engineering solutions," according to a DARPA release.

The program plans follow-on phases and will solicit future industry participation based on the successful completion of this first effort.

"As much of the world is shifting to an IP-centric approach for communicating data digitally, we realize the inherit inefficiencies that the IP headers create for sending small amounts of data," said Preston Marshall, Connectionless Networks program manager, in a statement.

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