This solicitation is now closed
Topology Management for Directional Antenna-based Networks
Navy SBIR 2008.2 - Topic N08-198
SPAWAR - Mr. Steve Stewart -
Opens: May 19, 2008 - Closes: June 18, 2008

N08-198 TITLE: Topology Management for Directional Antenna-based Networks

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this SBIR effort is to research advanced approaches for a readily deployable Topology Management algorithm(s) which address the complexity of mobile Ad Hoc Mesh Communication Networks constructed of directional antennas, and demonstrate its ability to optimize total network carrying capacity in a tactical ad hoc environment with unbalanced traffic.

DESCRIPTION: Wideband tactical radios are rapidly expanding into non-traditional roles in support of the Department of Defense vision for a connected force supported by a wireless backbone capable of supporting both ISR and C4 types of communication. The FORCEnet/Global Information Grid vision for warfighter connectivity is largely dependent on network connectivity and reliability. Various algorithms for topology management in advanced ad hoc mobile networks exist, but make simplifying assumptions (e.g., regarding traffic flows) which results in a suboptimal network topology for military network traffic loads produced by the mixing of ISR and C4 applications. This is particularly true as the communications move from the use of omni and sectored-omni antennas to directional antennas.

Current radio and waveform developments are diverse and specialized in their approaches to network management. Most depend on specific hardware implementations to support topology management of a homogenous network and are not compatible with existing radios requiring replacement of equipment. The goal of this effort is to develop (1) a topology management (TM) algorithm which can be readily deployed with little hardware modification to existing systems, and (2) a defined set of messages which will be exchanged between the entities implementing the TM function. The desired topology management algorithm must efficiently optimize the military application directed network topology, and must be compatible with the existing routing systems (e.g., ADNS) which are based on commercial protocols. Efficient algorithms for rapidly changing, highly dynamic networks should be included in this research. This network is much more complex than an infrastructure backed network and topology management will be key to maintaining warfighter connectivity.

PHASE I: Phase I will include research and development on topology management algorithms and provide a conceptual design of a topology management algorithm that can optimize bandwidth allocation when used with wireless tactical radios that use directional (narrow-beam) antennas in the presence of unbalanced loads. The capability must be able to manage at least one hundred fifty heterogeneous, wireless radios. The study must consider all pertinent operating data such as, but not limited to, radio inputs/outputs, power requirements, terrain data, antennae characteristics, data exchange, world-wide environmental conditions, network traffic loads, and multiple security domains. The algorithm should adapt to various military traffic loads, interoperability scenarios, enemy/threat representations and capabilities, etc. The research study should assume that routing will be performed using OSPF v3 with MANET extensions.

PHASE II: Phase II would require development of a software model to simulate the directional antenna-based network topology and test topology management algorithms in a simulated environment. Simulations would be used to validate usability and effectiveness of the topology management algorithm for networks consisting of more than 100 nodes. Traffic loads should be considered in this phase as well as several realistic operational scenarios such as entry and exit from the network, prioritization management, and physical attributes impacting topology management of the network (i.e. various altitudes, speeds, and antenna attributes).

PHASE III: Complete TM implementation for integration into a network environment. The TM would be installed and tested in an operational environment. A final list of required system performance capabilities will be included.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Commercial applications include the growing need for mobile networking in cell phone, pda, laptop, and other personal computing devices. Topology management for diverse mobile networks include uses in commercial aircraft, police ad hoc networks, and disaster relief efforts.

1. Approximation Algorithms for Dynamic Resource Allocation; Vivek F. Farias, Stanford University; Benjamin Van Roy, Stanford University, March 8, 2005.

2. Topology Management in Ad Hoc Networks, Lichun Bao, University of California Santa Cruz, J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves, University of California Santa Cruz, Proceeding of the 4th ACM international symposium on Mobile ad hoc networking & computing, pp. 129-140, 2003.

3. Topology Managemetn in CogMesh: A Cluster-based Cognitive Radio Mesh Network, Tao Chen, Honggang Zhang, Gian Mario Maggio, and Imrich Chlamtac, ICC 2007 proceedings.

KEYWORDS: Topology Management; algorithm; MANET; Ad Hoc; Directional Network

DoD Notice:  
Between April 21 and May 18, 2008, you may talk directly with the Topic Author(s) to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting May 19, 2008, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
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