Optical wireless networks are emerging as a viable, cost effective technology for rapidly deployable broadband sensor communication infrastructures. The use of directional, narrow beam, optical wireless links provides great promise for secure, extremely high data rate communication between fixed or mobile nodes, very suitable for sensor networks in civil and military contexts. The main challenge is to maintain the quality of such networks, as changing atmospheric
and platform conditions critically affect their performance. Topology control is used as the means to achieve survivable optical wireless networking under adverse conditions, based on dynamic and autonomous topology reconfiguration. The topology control process involves tracking and acquisition of nodes, assessment of link-state information, collection and distribution of topology data, and the algorithmic solution of an optimal topology. This paper focuses on
the analysis, implementation and evaluation of algorithms and heuristics for selecting the best possible topology in order to optimize a given performance objective while satisfying connectivity constraints. The work done at the physical layer is based on link cost information. A cost measure is defined in terms of bit-error-rate and the heuristics developed seek to form a bi-connected topology which minimizes total network cost. At the network layer a key factor is the traffic matrix, and heuristics were developed in order to minimize congestion, flow-rate or end-to-end delay.