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Proceedings Paper

Adaptive reconfigurable distributed sensor architecture
Author(s): Mark L. Akey
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Paper Abstract

The infancy of unattended ground based sensors is quickly coming to an end with the arrival of on-board GPS, networking, and multiple sensing capabilities. Unfortunately, their use is only first-order at best: GPS assists with sensor report registration; networks push sensor reports back to the warfighter and forwards control information to the sensors; multispectral sensing is a preset, pre-deployment consideration; and the scalability of large sensor networks is questionable. Current architectures provide little synergy among or within the sensors either before or after deployment, and do not map well to the tactical user's organizational structures and constraints. A new distributed sensor architecture is defined which moves well beyond single sensor, single task architectures. Advantages include: (1) automatic mapping of tactical direction to multiple sensors' tasks; (2) decentralized, distributed management of sensor resources and tasks; (3) software reconfiguration of deployed sensors; (4) network scalability and flexibility to meet the constraints of tactical deployments, and traditional combat organizations and hierarchies; and (5) adaptability to new battlefield communication paradigms such as BADD (Battlefield Analysis and Data Dissemination). The architecture is supported in two areas: a recursive, structural definition of resource configuration and management via loose associations; and a hybridization of intelligent software agents with tele- programming capabilities. The distributed sensor architecture is examined within the context of air-deployed ground sensors with acoustic, communication direction finding, and infra-red capabilities. Advantages and disadvantages of the architecture are examined. Consideration is given to extended sensor life (up to 6 months), post-deployment sensor reconfiguration, limited on- board sensor resources (processor and memory), and bandwidth. It is shown that technical tasking of the sensor suite can be automatically accomplished via the warfighter's tactical direction enabling the DoD's vision of a `single logical taskable entity'.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3081, Peace and Wartime Applications and Technical Issues for Unattended Ground Sensors, (24 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.280647
Show Author Affiliations
Mark L. Akey, Hughes Defense Communications (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3081:
Peace and Wartime Applications and Technical Issues for Unattended Ground Sensors
Gerold Yonas, Editor(s)

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