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Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Articles

Defense and National Security require coordination and control of large numbers of distributed and diverse devices and entities, whether waging war, maintaining peace, assisting in emergency relief or ensuring effective logistics. Today, collecting data and synchronizing defense operations rely primarily on coordination and control with humans in the loop, limited by the speed and scale of human-to-human communication and cognition. Automated defense systems primarily exist as integrated collections of sensors, decision-makers, and action-takers bound in a closed, custom-designed system for a specific mission, such as missile guidance or aircraft avionics. IoT technology has already begun to alter the way logistics, command and control, and surveillance are performed by many of the world’s military and intelligence organizations. In the future, IoT promises a revolution in the tempo, scale, flexibility and effectiveness of defense and national security operations by dynamically joining vast numbers of heterogenous sensors, processors and actuators to adapt to changing missions and environments.

Along with the promise of significant benefits come additional challenges for IoT for defense. Some defense applications present unique IoT challenges. Many involve greater risks than commercial IoT applications because consequences of failure or compromise can include loss of life and destruction of property. For example, IoT networks and devices by design, must operate in hostile environments where misinformation, deception, and direct physical and cyber-attacks are the rule. While IoT can amplify defense operations, it can also amplify damage caused by an adversary if an IoT system is compromised. For example, in a non-IoT world, a hostile agent might use a cyber-attack to seize control of a single drone. In an IoT world, taking control of a single drone might allow for simultaneous access and control of all drones in a theater of operation. Because military operations occur unexpectedly in unforeseen locations subject to ongoing devastation, IoT systems cannot rely solely on in-place commercial communications, networks and cloud infrastructure. Military operations often involve continuing changes in tempo, scale, location and objectives, so IoT systems for national security must be especially flexible, dynamic and adaptive. Because multi-national coalitions are the norm, IoT for defense operations should be tolerant of and capable of quickly incorporating diverse devices, networks, protocols and standards.

Some of the IoT challenges of special import to defense and national security:

  • Unreliable communications and networking
  • Presence of hostile agents (cyber, physical and human) impose additional protection and security requirements
  • The need to anticipate and recover from node and link attrition, adapting and reconfiguring in response to dynamic environments
  • Self-organizing and re-configuration of IoT systems in near real-time
  • Autonomously, scaling rapidly from hundreds to hundreds-of-thousands of devices and nodes
  • Additional command and control requirements for operation in dynamic, adversarial and deceptive environments
  • Automatic integration of data into actionable information to avoid cognitive overload, preventing IoT data from overwhelming human operators
  • Added emphasis and challenges in a defense and military environment for authentication, anomaly detection and attack mitigation
  • Of special import where human lives may depend on the IoT system are the challenges related to testing and validation and establishing trust in IoT systems that may consist of heterogeneous elements changing dynamically and driven by algorithms that may be largely opaque, such as deep-learning software

The IEEE Internet of Things Magazine (IoTM) will publish a Special Issue (SI) on IoT and Defense in September 2021. The magazine is soliciting articles for publication in the SI. Examples of topics of interest include IoT applications and technology for defense and national security, analysis of IoT benefits and challenges, and articles that address special security concerns related to defense and national security. Some example topics of Interest Include, but are not limited to:

  • New and emerging applications of IoT to defense, national security and military affairs
  • Advances in IoT technology and infrastructure for defense applications and environments, for example in unreliable and intermittent communications environments
  • Confidentiality, integrity, and/or accessibility of data, devices, communications and control: both cyber and physical when operating in an environment characterized by hostile agents
  • Integrating IoT into existing military and national security practice and creating opportunities for wide participation by multiple parties
  • IoT applications to military operations such as command and control, logistics, or surveillance
  • Detection, self-repair and adaptation to compromised IoT components and networks
  • Test and validation, certification, verification and establishing confidence in IoT systems for defense and national security
  • Ethical and legal issues related to use of IoT for defense, national security and military affairs
  • New applications and novel uses of IoT technology for defenses, for example, as a supplement or replacement for GPS, or to monitor an area to characterize activity and detect anomalies
  • Strategies and algorithms for fusing massive IoT data into actionable information and situation awareness
  • Automating dynamic integration of new heterogenous nodes to a defense IoT network
  • IoT systems operating in hybrid defense and commercial environments where components may come from unknown or untrustworthy multinational sources
  • Standards for IoT in defense and national security

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should conform to the standard format as indicated in the Information for Authors section of the Article Submission Guidelines.

All manuscripts to be considered for publication must be submitted by the deadline through Manuscript Central. Select the “December 2021: IoT Defense” topic from the selections under the “TYPE” heading in Step 1 for submission.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 31 March 2021
Initial Decision: 1 June 2021
Revised Manuscript Due: 1 July 2021
Decision Notification: 1 September 2019
Final Manuscript Due: 1 October 2021
Publication Date: December 2021

Guest Editors

Robert Douglass
Alta Montes, Inc., United States

Ananthram Swami
Army Research Laboratory
Combat Capabilities Development Command, US Army Futures Command, United States

Stephan Gerali
Lockheed Martin, Inc., United States