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17 May 2013 Evolution of a radio communication relay system
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Providing long-distance non-line-of-sight control for unmanned ground robots has long been recognized as a problem, considering the nature of the required high-bandwidth radio links. In the early 2000s, the DARPA Mobile Autonomous Robot Software (MARS) program funded the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific to demonstrate a capability for autonomous mobile communication relaying on a number of Pioneer laboratory robots. This effort also resulted in the development of ad hoc networking radios and software that were later leveraged in the development of a more practical and logistically simpler system, the Automatically Deployed Communication Relays (ADCR). Funded by the Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise and internally by SSC Pacific, several generations of ADCR systems introduced increasingly more capable hardware and software for automatic maintenance of communication links through deployment of static relay nodes from mobile robots. This capability was finally tapped in 2010 to fulfill an urgent need from theater. 243 kits of ruggedized, robot-deployable communication relays were produced and sent to Afghanistan to extend the range of EOD and tactical ground robots in 2012. This paper provides a summary of the evolution of the radio relay technology at SSC Pacific, and then focuses on the latest two stages, the Manually-Deployed Communication Relays and the latest effort to automate the deployment of these ruggedized and fielded relay nodes.
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Hoa G. Nguyen, Narek Pezeshkian, Abraham Hart, Aaron Burmeister, Kevin Holz, Joseph Neff, and Leif Roth "Evolution of a radio communication relay system", Proc. SPIE 8741, Unmanned Systems Technology XV, 87410H (17 May 2013);


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