BAE Systems will field-test a suite of next-generation wireless tactical network protocols designed to improve communications within and among forward-deployed military units. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) selected the company to develop and evaluate new “protocol stacks” — sets of network protocol layers that work together — for military mobile ad-hoc networks, or MANET.

Following the development of new protocol stacks for military mobile-ad-hoc network (MANET), under Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) program, BAE Systems is proceeding to a field-testing phase. The MANET demonstration will take place in spring 2009 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. In This demonstration the new protocols will be used to establish flexible, ad-hoc wireless tactical networks in support of special operations applications.

Current networking methods have adapted poorly to rapid in-the field network changes, achieving only a fraction of the potential performance. In a MANET, each network node operates not only as an end-system, but also as a router capable of forwarding traffic and forming a network free of any fixed infrastructure. The MANET’s flexibility makes it an attractive networking option for tactical operations.

BAE Systems teammates on this program are Massachusetts Institute of Technology and CenGen Inc.

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