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(3) Management of Autonomous Information Links (MAIL)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-20-C-0698
Agency Tracking Number: N204-A04-0398
Amount: $149,993.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N204-A04
Solicitation Number: 20.4
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-07-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-12-14
Small Business Information
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555
United States
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Drew Housten
 (617) 491-3474
Business Contact
 Erica Hartnett
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Research Institution

Unmanned vehicles and platforms can keep people out of harm’s way, but they are often put into situations where necessary communications are disrupted, limited, or overloaded. Unmanned platforms must often have close-to-real-time or time-critical information to be successful. Researchers are constantly advancing the reliability of communication links. However, these advancements can be unreliable due to several factors, including active denial, infrastructure failure, degradation of service, and/or environmental impacts. Improvements in communication link redundancy, availability, and usage optimization is necessary. One possible solution is to install more communication modems, antennas, radios, and other hardware. However, installing additional hardware is often not feasible due to size, weight, and power (SWAP) constraints and limitations, and poses logistical, maintenance, and procurement challenges. Instead, a software solution can leverage existing hardware to overcome communication challenges. This can be achieved through autonomous management of configuration (e.g., adjusting transmission power, changing RF frequencies), recovery behaviors (e.g., reestablishing link connections, rotating directional antenna), bandwidth optimization (e.g., focusing on mission-critical information), and information delivery via relay nodes. To address these challenges, Charles River Analytics proposes to develop Management of Autonomous Links (MAIL). MAIL is a software tool to adaptively manage information exchange and communication links using expert systems and an adaptive behavior-based approach. MAIL will autonomously optimize network usage according to the Commander’s Intent and take action to restore communications when one or more link is disrupted.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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