A tiny device the size of a sugar cube may revolutionize military communications and sensor systems. The technology is a micro-scale atomic clock designed to help spectrum-hopping radios synchronize their frequencies and access signals from navigation satellites. This prototype time keeper is undergoing testing to determine its readiness for military applications.
Technology resembling the human immune system is enhancing security for ad hoc mobile wireless networks on the battlefield. It will automate operations; offer unique, enhanced protection to communications assets; and relieve troops from constant network-monitoring. The result is increased user trust in the network.
An experimental radio technology could provide U.S. warfighters with assured access to voice, data and video communications. The prototype systems use an advanced wireless networking capability to link troops with larger networks such as the Global Information Grid. The radios also are capable of sensing the electromagnetic environment and selecting frequencies that are not in use automatically.
Internet accessible data libraries are looming as an important element in the continuing evolution of communications devices. By being able to hold a variety of waveform and signal processing algorithms on chips and in databases, these information storehouses give users enhanced flexibility in selecting specific material when and where they need it.
An evolving technology promises efficient spectrum use to enable bandwidth on demand in wireless broadband access systems. The technology is being implemented in point-to-multipoint systems operating across the millimeter wave region to provide wireless communications transmissions.
Engineers are using a new class of algorithms capable of encoding and decoding communications at speeds close to transmission channel maximum capacities, a feat that has eluded engineers since the 1940s when a theoretical limit to channel capacity was first defined. Under development since the early 1990s, these algorithms are now being tested in proof-of-concept devices.
Cellular telephone users may be closer to achieving their dream of making telephone calls or accessing messages and services from anywhere in the world. Researchers have developed a software architecture that allows global roaming across all types of wireless systems. The technology offers the potential for upcoming third generation wireless telecommunications systems to operate beyond the current patchwork of regional and national networks.
Regulatory and spectrum issues may delay widespread release of third generation wireless technologies in the United States and Europe. The root of the difficulty is the lack of available bands for new applications in North America and questions surrounding rule-making authority in the European Union.
U.S. Defense Department researchers are developing software that may be capable of accurately understanding the nuances of human language. The technology promises to greatly enhance a spectrum of computer-based systems-from commercial Web browsers and personal virtual assistants to advanced intelligence gathering and command and control systems.
A prototype personal communications and situational awareness system may provide U.S. warfighters with an advantage in tactical combat. The device will link soldiers to a mobile voice and data network with the capability to share important information among individuals and entire units. A built-in inertial geolocation subsystem will enable troops to determine their location even if global positioning system signals are jammed or unavailable.
Diverse businesses from technology developers to hotels are capitalizing on the public's compulsion to stay in touch. Until recently, technology that allows laptop owners to access networks wirelessly was viewed as a nonessential add-on. But today, companies and consumers recognize the benefits of mobile computing, and technology providers are meeting the new demand with equipment that makes notebook computers ready for surfing right out of the box.
An advanced wireless communications system soon will allow military and civilian users to access spectrum more efficiently than does current equipment. Radios using this spectrum allocation technology will sense their local electromagnetic environment and transmit messages through available areas of spectrum. Designed for global use, these intelligent devices will store nations' spectrum protocols on microchips for automatic, seamless operation without the need for lengthy frequency allocation negotiations.
A recently adopted international standard protects military radar and scientific satellite transmissions against potential interference from wireless local area networks. It provides a toolkit and guidelines for manufacturers to modify their products to switch automatically to alternate channels when these signals are detected.