Large scale, mobile ad-hoc networks (MANET) are of great interest for a number of applications including battlesphere dominance and homeland security. ENSCO, Inc. is designing a system for profiling large regions of the atmosphere. The concept, known as Global Environmental Micro Sensors (GEMS), features an integrated system of airborne probes that will remain suspended in the atmosphere and take measurements of pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind velocity as they are carried by atmospheric currents. In addition to gathering meteorological data, the probes could be used for monitoring and predicting the dispersion of particulate emissions, organic and inorganic pollutants, ozone, carbon dioxide, and chemical, biological, or nuclear contaminants. Several functionality requirements are called into question when investigating a scalable mobile network protocol. For instance, periodic reporting may not always be required and can be abandoned in favor of event-driven reports. Similarly, network connectivity may not be required at all times. Instead of constant global connectivity, paths can be formed only when data packets are ready for transmission. For a successful GEMS system, the most important network function is to relay timely data to one or more receiving stations. We will present both the GEMS system and probe design as well as discuss the trade-offs associated with optimizing a three-dimensional, mobile, airborne network comprised of low-cost, low-power probes. We will also analyze and present measured data to determine the performance of a representative MANET under actual environmental conditions and various aspects of mobility.
ENSCO, Inc has identified a need for airborne in-situ measurements of meteorological parameters such as temperature, humidity, pressure, wind velocity, as well as biological and chemical agents. In this paper, we describe one approach for the development of such a probe using advances in materials, microelectromechanical systems, and nanotechnology. We present the technology roadmap for creating an Observational Roving Body (ORB) and discuss power generation / storage, communications, networking, sensing, and aerodynamic design associated with development of airborne probes for in-situ measurements.