Stevens works with Lucent in $11.5 million contract from DARPA


WiNSeC to test innovations to enhance US Military's communications

HOBOKEN, N.J. - Stevens Institute of Technology is a collaborator with Lucent Technologies to execute a one-year, $11.5 million award from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Lucent will lead a consortium that includes Stevens that will research, develop and demonstrate an ultra-high capacity, highly-secure communications system for DARPA's Mobile Networked Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO) program, also known as MNM. MIMO is a communications technique that uses multiple antennas to send and receive wireless signals at ultra-high speeds.

Specifically involved will be Stevens' Wireless Network Security Center (WiNSeC), directed by Dr. Paul J. Kolodzy.

Bell Labs will use MIMO technology called BLAST (Bell Labs Layered Space Time), to develop the world's first tactical, continually moving and self-forming MIMO mobile network called "Packet BLAST." Packet BLAST will provide immediate and substantial enhancements to the military's communications including vastly expanded capacity within defense radio frequency bands; much higher data rate communications in non-line-of-sight environments like urban areas and forested terrains; and improved stealth communications to avoid detection and jamming attempts by adversaries.

The overall program goal is to deploy the first MIMO-based mobile ad hoc network showing a 20 times increase in spectral efficiency. In late Fall 2004, Lucent will deploy the network using 20 sport utility vehicles at the Naval Air Engineering Station in Lakehurst, N.J. These vehicles will be fully equipped with mobile communications gear that incorporates the Packet BLAST solution. The Packet BLAST mobile radios will be subjected to constantly changing urban and rural environments, as well as stress-inducing capacity demands.

"The testing environment will contain two major components," said Dr. Patrick White, Associate Director of WiNSeC at Stevens. "One is to visualize the changing multipath environment as the vehicles move around. We will superimpose those images over satellite maps of the Lakehurst base, for example, to give a physical feel for what's going on. Second, we will develop capabilities to go in and analyze aspects of the radio, for diagnostics and other purposes. And we will fully involve Stevens students who are working with WiNSeC in every phase of the research project."

"Packet BLAST is a prime example of how Bell Labs innovations can materially enhance the US military's network-centric capabilities through advanced tactical communications," said Mike Geller, director of Bell Labs' Government Communications Laboratory. "Once we've proven Packet BLAST's abilities in the field, we hope to apply this work to other Department of Defense (DoD) programs such as Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and Future Combat Systems (FCS)."

"This significant contract underscores the commitment of Lucent and Bell Labs to provide government customers with differentiated, deployable solutions for addressing and solving the enormously challenging situations they face today," said Rick Miller, senior vice president, Government Solutions for Lucent. "We'll continue to leverage our next generation products, services and cutting edge technologies to design, develop and deploy revolutionary communications systems in support of the needs of our defense and other government customers."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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