In case studies of recent MOUT failures, one of the most widely given reports from soldiers in the field was that MOUT environments are extremely confusing and complex. This confusion manifests itself by creating soldier-level difficulties in determining appropriate and operationally consistent responses to various fast paced and close range changes in the mission environment. Lack of commander-level situational awareness and robust commander-to-soldier communications cripple mission effectiveness. Furthermore, current military technologies are mostly unsuitable for urban terrain since they are generally intended for long range and coarse-grained operations which are uncommon in MOUT. The emerging technology of wireless sensor networks has potential to solve many current MOUT issues, and will be a vital part of the network-centric warfare discussed in relation to the Future Combat System (FCS). This paper will discuss technological enhancements and impacts to MOUT based on wireless sensor networks with specific emphasis on low-cost and disposable sensor system opportunities.
Although touted as a revolutionary technology with a wide scope of application, the actual design and implementation of full, end-to-end wireless sensor networks (WSNs) has rarely been demonstrated. One of the primary factors holding back the field is that the capabilities of WSNs and realistic specifications of WSN applications are not well understood. Much research has been devoted to specific hardware, software, or algorithmic components of these networks with very little work having been done on full system implementation for real-world problems. The multitude of WSN components that have been developed result from different tradeoffs made among the parameters governing WSN systems. This paper introduces and analyzes these governing parameters and how tradeoffs are made among them. Ultimately, a matching metric presented helps WSN designers use specifications on these parameters to find and integrate appropriate WSN components for implementing real-world WSN solutions.
The recent war on terrorism and increased urban warfare has been a major catalysis for increased interest in the development of disposable unattended wireless ground sensors. While the application of these sensors to hostile domains has been generally governed by specific tasks, this research explores a unique paradigm capitalizing on the fundamental functionality related to sensor systems. This functionality includes a sensors ability to Sense - multi-modal sensing of environmental events, Decide - smart analysis of sensor data, Act - response to environmental events, and Communication - internal to system and external to humans (SDAC). The main concept behind SDAC sensor systems is to integrate the hardware, software, and networking to generate 'knowledge and not just data'. This research explores the usage of wireless SDAC units to collectively make up a sensor system capable of persistent, adaptive, and autonomous behavior. These systems are base on the evaluation of scenarios and existing systems covering various domains. This paper presents a promising view of sensor network characteristics, which will eventually yield smart (intelligent collectives) network arrays of SDAC sensing units generally applicable to multiple related domains. This paper will also discuss and evaluate the demonstration system developed to test the concepts related to SDAC systems.
The system level hardware architecture of individual nodes in a wireless distributed sensor network has not received adequate attention. A large portion of the development work in wireless sensor networks has been devoted to the networking layer or the network communications, but considering the tight integration required between the hardware and software on each node can result in major benefits in power, performance, and usability as well. A novel hardware architecture based on the concept of task specific modular computing provides both the high flexibility and power efficiency required for effective distributed sensing solutions. A comparative power analysis with a traditional, centralized architecture gives a justifying motivation for pursuing the modular architecture. Finally, three decentralized module self-control mechanisms developed to minimize total system power will be presented and explained in detail.