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Military Communications

Special Feature Topic


The design and fielding of military communications systems capable of enabling Network Centric Operations remains one of the greatest challenges facing military institutions today. The challenges are particularly acute in the area of tactical wireless communications, which are typically characterized by user mobility and unpredictable transmission channels. Together with demanding security requirements and the need for interoperability among disparate systems, including legacy systems and those of allies, these characteristics make it difficult to leverage commercial wireless technology to meet the needs and expectations of military users. Some of these difficulties can be traced back to a lack of fundamental theoretical underpinnings for communications networks, a problem that is widely recognized today and beginning to receive significant attention in academia and industry alike. While network theoretic frameworks for wireless systems remain elusive, there is a great deal of work aimed at improving the design of wireless systems, some of which include the adoption of new design paradigms. Cross layer design remains a popular approach to minimizing inefficiencies associated with strictly layered design paradigms in highly dynamic wireless environments. Researchers are also focusing on the idea of exploiting the inherent broadcast properties of wireless networks through the development of cooperative diversity protocols, though practical applicability in highly mobile environments remains a question. Network coding is an example of another promising, and increasingly popular, approach aimed at improving the throughput of multi-hop wireless networks. Other areas of research, including network security, mobile routing, dynamic resource allocation, management and media access control, continue to play an important role in the struggle to improve the feasibility of truly network centric operations.

This Feature Topic will bring together the most recent advances in communications and networking technologies applicable to the area of network centric military communications. Papers are solicited that present research, development, experimentation, test and measurement, and practical deployment activities.

Suggested areas include (but are not restricted to) the following subject categories:

  • Network Science for military communications
  • Cognitive radio and cognitive networking
  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • Cross-layer design and optimization
  • Network management and control in tactical networks
  • Network characterization and modeling
  • Protocol efficiency on bandwidth constrained links
  • Mobility management
  • Signaling and Quality of Service provisioning
  • Mobile routing
  • Network security and information assurance
  • Cooperative Diversity
  • Freespace Optical Communications
  • Network coding
  • Dynamic spectrum allocation and management
  • Airborne networks
  • Space-based networks
  • Content Oriented Networking


Kevin Chan
United States Army Research Laboratory

Frank Trethan Johnsen
Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI)