Scalable Mobile Wireless Mesh Networks

Period of Performance: 09/27/2006 - 06/27/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nova Engineering, Inc.
5 Circle Freeway Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45246
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored Programs 0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Institution POC


The proliferation of low-cost wireless devices has led to increased commercial interest in dynamic mesh networks. At the same time, similar military requirements have surfaced, stemming from Network Centric Warfare and emerging advanced MANET applications. Tactical users stand to realize enormous benefits in size, weight, power and cost by leveraging new commercial wireless technologies, with their attractive economies of scale. However, for commercial gear to be of use to military users, fundamental differences between military requirements and commercial capabilities must be reconciled. Serious shotcomings of existing commercial systems, such as security, efficiency, and reliability over multiple network hops, must be addressed in order to transition these systems. Nova Engineering and Virginia Tech have partnered to address innovative methods for leveraging existing wireless chipsets to improve the military utility of commodity wireless hardware. We introduce unique approaches in the areas of multiple description coding, TCP/IP, networking and MAC layer improvements, and encryption. We outline all-software implementation methods for these innovations, and include demonstrations of our MD coding, MANET, and MAC research. Phase 2 will build on these demonstrations to implement a cohesive demonstration network on top of an 802.11 radio set.