A Unified Access Model for Interconnecting Heterogeneous Wireless Networks

Report No. ARL-TR-7290
Authors: Saleil Bhat; Venkateswara R Dasari; Vinod K Mishra
Date/Pages: May 2015; 18 pages
Abstract: Battlefield communication networks consist of various heterogeneous networking technologies. Heterogeneity can create problems of interoperability and challenges in creating a unified network. Two of the challenges in making heterogeneous networks interoperate seamlessly are the existence of disparate Media Access Control (MAC) layers and control plane protocols. A network model that can abstract disparate MAC layers in heterogeneous networks and interconnect them using a unified and centralized connection broker could potentially solve the problems preventing seamless connectivity in heterogeneous networks. The controller can accept signals from a variety of access technologies and convert them to the appropriate form before forwarding. Using C++, we modeled the behavior of a unified access controller for heterogeneous wireless networks in the ns-3 environment. We allowed 2 simulated wireless networks with 2 different access technologies to communicate with one another via a virtual network device acting as the controller. The conversion process was performed using the ns-3 emulated net device model, which can change an ns-3 simulation signal of any particular access technology into a virtual packet and vice versa. Our simulated model validated the unified access control design for heterogeneous networks. It can be used as a framework for further testing and also as the foundation for a new physical design over which the heterogeneous networks operate seamlessly.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2015