Better networked soldiers

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recently given a US$500K award to a computer scientist of the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). His research project is called 'Revolutionizing Defense Communications with a Diversified Internet Infrastructure.' Crowley will design a new kind of network for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The goal is to 'facilitate real-time information in the field so that every foot soldier, commander, tank and transport vehicle is networked.' Crowley thinks that commanders engaged in tactical combat-type situations 'want to understand the location and states of all the platforms, equipment and personnel in real-time.' And he adds he can help -- and maybe save some lives. But read more...

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recently given a US$500K award to a computer scientist of the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). His research project is called 'Revolutionizing Defense Communications with a Diversified Internet Infrastructure.' Crowley will design a new kind of network for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The goal is to 'facilitate real-time information in the field so that every foot soldier, commander, tank and transport vehicle is networked.' Crowley thinks that commanders engaged in tactical combat-type situations 'want to understand the location and states of all the platforms, equipment and personnel in real-time.' And he adds he can help -- and maybe save some lives. But read more...

Patrick Crowley, assistant professor at WUSTL

You can see on the left a photo of Patrick Crowley, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at WUSTL and a member of the Applied Research Laboratory. (Credit: WUSTL on this page) You'll find more information on Crowley's activities by visiting his personal home page which lists all his publications.

This is the second phase of Crowley's participation in the DARPA Computer Science Study Group (CSSG). This phase "consists of a research portion selected and funded through an additional round of competitive reviews. Crowley, a computer architect, intends to design a new kind of network for the DoD to facilitate real-time information in the field so that every foot soldier, commander, tank and transport vehicle is networked.

Here are some quotes from Crowley. "'Imagine tactical combat-type situations where commanders in part of a region want to understand the location and states of all the platforms, equipment and personnel in real-time,' Crowley said. 'At WUSTL we have a programmable network platform that can scale real-time information sharing over several orders of magnitude, from a handful of interconnected platforms to thousands and tens of thousands. The core idea is information sharing. What had been lacking was knowledge of platform components. Now we have that knowledge and can try it out.'"

He also added that "the DoD has 'extraordinary' technologies, such as autonomous aircraft predator drones that can monitor people with cameras from seven to eight miles away. But because of the way the computer is architected, it's limited to just a few visual feeds that only a few people can observe simultaneously. 'That's the kind of thing that I hope our network can do,' Crowley said. 'In a short amount of time you should be able to have not only video feeds from the predator, but feeds from individual soldiers in the field.'"

Sources: Washington University in St. Louis news release, August 7, 2008; and various websites

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