To enable the “mobile battlefield Network”, DARPA is developing the Multifunctional On-the-Move Secure Adaptive Integrated Communications (MOSAIC).
Using “ad-hoc mobile networking” MOSAIC automatically forms and self-organizes the network without any human input. Each user or airborne relay forms an intermediate communications node routing messages on its way to the final destination. Such networks rely on the extensive distribution of users throughout the area of operations and therefore do not require a dedicated communications infrastructure on the ground.
“Ad-hoc networks” automatically adapt to topography, interference maintaining optimal Quality of Service (QOS) of data messages, based on the urgency of the message. Recent tests have shown that such QOS functions can accelerate the distribution of critical messages (such as NBC alert) from 6 seconds to less than one second. MOSAIC can also be linked to terrestrial and SATCOM networks for global connectivity.
Evolving Mobile Network concept known as Multiple -Input/Multiple – Output (MIMO) have the potential to increase communications data rates by 10-20 times above current systems. Such systems will use multi-path reflections to create parallel channels in the same frequency band, thereby increasing spectral efficiency.
MIMO networks are studied under a DARPA program, have the potential to dramatically improve communications in urban and other Non-Line-of-Sight multi-path conditions, where conventional techniques are degraded. MIMO technologies could be employed in future mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) and is considered to be integrated as a wideband communications adapter in the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) cluster.
A family of new ultra wideband (UWB) devices is also considered for improving communications in extremely harsh environments. Applications could offer highly accurate ranging and passive radar. Among the program’s developments is a Tactical Voice/Data Radio (TVDR) with Multilateral Geolocation Ranging, a Low Bit Rate Sensor Network with highly accurate geolocation. Development of an ad-hoc networking and multiple access protocols to take advantage of the unique properties of UWB and the integration of UWB communications for sensors systems.