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Home>News>2012>Air Force awards IAI a follow-on contract to develop Routing Protocols for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Networks

Air Force awards IAI a follow-on contract to develop Routing Protocols for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Networks

The increasing availability of small, unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) makes it possible to form temporary mission-centric SUAS networks using multiple SUASs. These networks increase the range with which SUAS can operate and improve communications capabilities. However, the dynamic nature of SUAS topologies and limited bandwidth availability create an inhospitable environment for traditional routing approaches. Routing techniques that allow SUAS networks to opportunistically take advantage of available connectivity are needed. To address these challenges, IAI and its collaborator, Boeing, have been awarded a follow-on contract entitled, “Routing Protocols for Highly Dynamic SUAS Network Topologies.” A prototype of Small UAS Routing Enhanced Networks (SURENET), including SUAS-compatible link metrics and topology dissemination techniques, has been designed and implemented in the project’s first phase. SURENET’s objective is to create routing techniques to efficiently use available but elusive network capacity. Methods of route selection, link weighting, route discovery, topology management, and queuing are used to focus the routing protocol toward the most useful routes, allowing temporary interruptions to remain seamless to the end user. Using IAI’s RFnest wireless network emulation hardware, the prototype was evaluated on wireless radios using both replayed CUNE field test data and a representative scenario. The results showed that significant improvement in throughput and route availability was provided by SURENET. Next, further enhancements to the link metrics and topology management will be made, and queuing behaviors and techniques will be implemented to use additional information available to the network. A set of detailed, representative evaluation scenarios that are more closely derived from CUNE data sets will be created and two incremental development and evaluation spirals will be conducted.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit

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