While the term Internet of Things (IoT) has been coined relatively recently, it has deep roots in multiple other areas of
research including cyber-physical systems, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, embedded systems, mobile ad-hoc
networks, wireless sensor networks, cellular networks, wearable computing, cloud computing, big data analytics, and
intelligent agents. As the Internet of Things, these technologies have created a landscape of diverse heterogeneous
capabilities and protocols that will require adaptive controls to effect linkages and changes that are useful to end users. In
the context of military applications, it will be necessary to integrate disparate IoT devices into a common platform that
necessarily must interoperate with proprietary military protocols, data structures, and systems. In this environment, IoT
devices and data will not be homogeneous and provenance-controlled (i.e. single vendor/source/supplier owned). This
paper presents a discussion of the challenges of integrating varied IoT devices and related software in a military
environment. A review of contemporary commercial IoT protocols is given and as a practical example, a middleware
implementation is proffered that provides transparent interoperability through a proactive message dissemination system.
The implementation is described as a framework through which military applications can integrate and utilize
commercial IoT in conjunction with existing military sensor networks and command and control (C2) systems.
As the Army transforms into the Future Force, particular attention must be paid to operations in Complex and Urban Terrain. Our adversaries increasingly draw us into operations in the urban environment and one can presume that this trend will continue in future battles. In order to ensure that the United States Army maintains battlefield dominance, the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is developing technology to equip our soldiers for the urban operations of the future. Sophisticated soldier borne systems will extend sensing to the individual soldier, and correspondingly, allow the soldier to establish an accurate picture of their surrounding environment utilizing information from local and remote assets. Robotic platforms will be an integral part of the future combat team. These platforms will augment the team with remote sensing modalities, task execution capabilities, and enhanced communication systems. To effectively utilize the products provided by each of these systems, collected data must be exchanged in real time to all affected entities. Therefore, the Army Research Laboratory is also developing the technology that will be required to support high bandwidth mobile communication in urban environments. This technology incorporates robotic systems that will allow connectivity in areas unreachable by traditional systems. This paper will address some of the issues of providing wireless connectivity in complex and urban terrain. It will further discuss approaches developed by the Army Research Laboratory to integrate communications capabilities into soldier and robotic systems and provide seamless connectivity between the elements of a combat team, and higher echelons.
Spread spectrum communication techniques have been recognized as a viable method to gain an advantage in interference environments. Many military-oriented systems have been initiated, and some civil systems have been attempted. Spread spectrum allows the ability to hide the signal of interest below or in the noise floor, so as not to be detected. A spread spectrum system is one in which the transmitted signal is spread over a wide frequency band, much wider, in fact, than the minimum bandwidth required to transmit the information being sent. We at Army Research Lab (ARL) are proposing using the same technique on the Internet with port hopping. The information would be transmitted in data packets over multiple ports. The port used would vary per packet or per session basis. This port hopping gives you and the recipients the ability to take datagram's and spread them out over a multitude of ports. This will hide information among the Internet noise. This will allow trusted communications between the transmitter and receiver because of the port coding sequence. There are 64K possible ports to span datagram. Jamming of transmission would be limiting the ability of the sniffer/listener. Also, the listener will find it difficult to use a man in the middle attach, since the data will be spread over multiple ports and only the receiver and transmitter will know the specific port sequencing for the datagram.
Small air and ground physical agents (robots) will be ubiquitous on the battlefield of the 21st century, principally to lower the exposure to harm of our ground forces in urban and open terrain scenarios. Teams of small collaborating physical agents conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA), intelligence, chemical and biological agent detection, logistics, decoy, sentry; and communications relay will have advanced sensors, communications, and mobility characteristics. It is anticipated that there will be many levels of individual and team collaboration between the soldier and robot, robot to robot, and robot to mother ship. This paper presents applications and infrastructure components that illustrate each of these levels. As an example, consider the application where a team of twenty small robots must rapidly explore and define a building complex. Local interactions and decisions require peer to peer collaboration. Global direction and information fusion warrant a central team control provided by a mother ship. The mother ship must effectively deliver/retrieve, service, and control these robots as well as fuse the information gathered by these highly mobile robot teams. Any level of collaboration requires robust communications, specifically a mobile ad hoc network. The application of fixed ground sensors and mobile robots is also included in this paper. This paper discusses on going research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that supports the development of multi-robot collaboration. This research includes battlefield visualization, intelligent software agents, adaptive communications, sensor and information fusion, and multi-modal human computer interaction.
This paper will discuss the on-going research at Army Research Laboratory (ARL) supporting long distance communication for networked sensor arrays. As the Army continues to move forward in the development of remote, distributed, unattended, intelligence sensors, the need for the resultant information to reach the command and control center increases. In the case of sensor array networks the command and control center provides configuration information for deployment and battlefield visualization tools to interpret and integrate the data received. These sensor array networks may be separated by long distances from the command and control center. To allow the communication to take place, an experimental long distance communication link was developed and demonstrated. The link consists of a variable node ad-hoc wireless network and controlling software. This network provides the pre-processed data for situational awareness to the remote command control center over a low bandwidth link. This link must be robust in that it must tolerate node failures and adapt. Although mobility is not a large issue, the network must tolerate a variable network topology and must therefore be ad-hoc. In this paper we will discuss the design requirements for this communication link along with the protocols developed to overcome limitations imposed by the noisy, failure prone battlefield wireless environment. We will also discuss the software and hardware architecture design and implementation for the generalized long distance sensor array communication link. Currently, operational components of this link function over an 80 mile distance with very high noise levels, node failures, intermittent connectivity, and severe bandwidth constraints.
Small physical agents will be ubiquitous on the battlefield of the 21<SUP>st</SUP> century, principally to lower the exposure to harm of our ground forces. Teams of small collaborating physical agents conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); chemical and biological agent detection, logistics, sentry; and communications relay will have advanced sensor and mobility characteristics. The mother ship much effectively deliver/retrieve, service, and control these robots as well as fuse the information gathered by these highly mobile robot teams. The mother ship concept presented in this paper includes the case where the mother ship is itself a robot or a manned system. The mother ship must have long-range mobility to deploy the small, highly maneuverable agents that will operate in urban environments and more localized areas, and act as a logistics base for the robot teams. The mother ship must also establish a robust communications network between the agents and is an up-link point for disseminating the intelligence gathered by the smaller agents; and, because of its global knowledge, provides the high-level information fusion, control and planning for the collaborative physical agents. Additionally, the mother ship incorporates battlefield visualization, information fusion, and multi-resolution analysis, and intelligent software agent technology, to support mission planning and execution. This paper discusses on going research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that supports the development of a robot mother ship. This research includes docking, battlefield visualization, intelligent software agents, adaptive communications, information fusion, and multi- modal human computer interaction.
This paper discusses ongoing research at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory that investigates the feasibility of developing a collaboration architecture between small physical agents and a mother ship. This incudes the distribution of planning, perception, mobility, processing and communications requirements between the mother ship and the agents. Small physical agents of the future will be virtually everywhere on the battlefield of the 21st century. A mother ship that is coupled to a team of small collaborating physical agents (conducting tasks such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA); logistics; sentry; and communications relay) will be used to build a completely effective and mission capable intelligent system. The mother ship must have long-range mobility to deploy the small, highly maneuverable agents that will operate in urban environments and more localized areas, and act as a logistics base for the smaller agents. The mother ship also establishes a robust communications network between the agents and is the primary information disseminating and receiving point to the external world. Because of its global knowledge and processing power, the mother ship does the high-level control and planning for the collaborative physical agents. This high level control and interaction between the mother ship and its agents (including inter agent collaboration) will be software agent architecture based. The mother ship incorporates multi-resolution battlefield visualization and analysis technology, which aids in mission planning and sensor fusion.