Scalable mobile ad hoc network (MANET) to enhance situational awareness in distributed small unit operations
Driesslein, Jonathan Clarke
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Platforms throughout the military and other government agencies (such as FEEMA and police departments) have become more networked; the last link in each network chain, however, has always been the individuals themselves. This structure requires a network that can process large amounts of data in order to provide the individuals with succinct and actionable information. Information, such as individual positions, weapons orientation, and friendly positions, serve to greatly enhance the situational awareness and improve the likelihood of mission success. The goal of this research is to use networking to improve the infantry’s situational awareness. The Robotic Operating System (ROS) is the foundation of a prototype network investigated in this thesis. It enables rapid prototyping of components and functionality through an open-source library with multi-language and multi-platform support. The network was constructed with software and hardware modules consisting of wearable sensors and various computational platforms. Future development will include linking the network to autonomous units and other assets with simplified controls. The deliverable is a mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) with hardware designed to be operational for infantry squads and software designed to deliver contextual situational awareness to all of its members. The data distribution is handled through a brokered publish and subscribe network implemented via ROS.
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