The Network Major Laboratory Program provides the theoretical and scientific foundations for network science research and applications. ARL develops sciences that will enable the modeling, designing, analyzing, predicting, and controlling behaviors of secure tactical communications, sensing, and command and control networks. The research into the fundamental underpinnings of networks is essential to enable humans and networks of disparate information sources to discover, derive, infer, and optimize data, information and knowledge from the full range of structured and unstructured sources. The understanding of the linkage between the physical and human domains as they relate to human decision making within the Army's command and control structure is critical to the network. In order to accomplish this research, ARL's technologies that enable network capabilities are in the following areas:
- Information Sciences
- Network Sciences
- Battlefield Environment
- Advanced Computing and Computational Sciences
Advanced Computing & Computational Sciences
The Advanced Computing and Computational Sciences program provides ARL, Army, and DoD with state-of-the art advancements in traditional High Performance Computing (HPC) physics based calculation technology, as well as, emerging technology in heterogeneous computing. This includes management and operation of a DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC), and management and execution of the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC) at Stanford University. The ARL DSRC emphasis is on providing a robust classified and unclassified computing environment, as well as, the capability to provide real-time processing and data storage solutions in direct support to the DOD Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) community. The Advanced Computing and Computational Sciences program is comprised of three research areas:
- Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Research: ARL develops and uses multi-scale modeling methods for material components and analysis; and algorithm development/optimization for physics-based and network-centric applications.
- Advanced Computing: ARL develops and optimizes computing methodologies for asymmetric core computing; focuses on battlefield-based applications; and advances high performance computing technology for modeling and simulation.
- Scientific and HPC Environments & Visualization: ARL explores, develops and deploys common data formats, coupled software and remote interactive scalable visualization technologies; and provides production grade hardware and software environments for application scientists.
Atmospheric Sensing for Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR): ARL performs basic and applied research through measurements, modeling, and theoretical investigations and analysis of aerosols, acoustics, and optics to support advances in battlefield sensing capabilities. ARL's research is conducted for the purpose of improving propagation and scattering models to be integrated in the development of techniques that can improve target acquisition and recognition, detecting and identifying biological aerosols, and improving the performance of various acoustic and electro-optic sensors. The research program includes propagation through the atmosphere and modeling of the atmospheric processes that affect acoustic and electro optic signatures, battlefield imaging, and acquisition of targets in a natural and battlefield environment.
Atmospheric Modeling Applications: ARL conducts specific research necessary to meet the Army's requirements for detailed atmospheric analyses and very short range predictions (nowcasts) over mission execution battle-space domains in complex terrain areas and within urban environments. ARL develops decision support tools, associated databases, and user applications which describe the impacts expected and the resulting performance degradation due to adverse weather conditions for both friendly and threat systems, allowing for analysis and adjustments in weapon systems prior to and during enemy engagement. ARL develops, modifies, or adapts data assimilation tools that can ingest on-scene, traditional and non-traditional weather observations and fuses this information with forecasts to provide analyses and mission execution nowcast products for operations and short-term mission planning.
Atmospheric Dynamics: ARL performs basic and applied research to measure, model, predict and understand the dynamics of the boundary layer atmosphere for its effects on Army systems and operations. ARL develops high resolution physics-based and semi-empirical models for urban meteorology and performs experiments to measure the fine scale effects of local terrain on winds, turbulence and vertical fluxes. ARL develops and demonstrates novel technologies to automate environmental awareness and exploit bio-inspired engineering in these complex and dynamic battlefield environments, improve reactions, and enhance the survivability of semi-autonomous and networked smart systems to assure mission success.
Local Information Fusion Services: ARL conducts basic and applied research in supporting technologies for information superiority, global connectivity, and enhanced situational awareness for the Warfighter at the tactical edge of the conflict. Research concentrates on the adaptation and development of technologies to mitigate the unreliability of the current tactical network through the introduction of middleware which acts as a mediator between the software applications and the network services.
Global Information Fusion Services: ARL conducts basic and applied research in supporting technologies that: (1) exploit information fusion techniques to identify and track high-value individuals (HVIs); (2) develop innovative methods to exploit the quantitative and qualitative nature of the expanded data available within the tactical environment; and (3) develop social network analysis (SNA) techniques to map and measure the relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, and other information or knowledge processing entities encountered within the tactical environment.
Asset Behaviors & Control: ARL conducts basic and applied research in supporting technologies for the control of networked assets and their corresponding behaviors. Research concentrates in the areas of autonomous mobility for small unmanned systems and tactical behaviors for groups of heterogeneous assets in accomplishing a coordinated task. This research enables dismounted operations of small scale robots in urban and complex terrains.
Multilingual Computing: ARL conducts basic and applied research in supporting technologies that automatically process and interpret human language input. Research concentrates on the recognition of speech and document images, in both English and foreign languages, and in the translation of text between foreign languages and English. ARL research programs address the creation of new military specific machine translation (MT) methods and metrics.
Intelligent Optics: ARL conducts basic research for the development of active/adaptive optical systems for high-energy laser (HEL) directed energy applications, targeting, atmospheric imaging, and laser communications to address adaptive communications channels and networks, data/image compression, secure information exchange and tactical strategic inter-operability, as well as basic research in Quantum Imaging.
Network Analysis, Modeling and Design for MANETs: ARL researches complex dynamics that occur in interactions of different genres of networks: social-cognitive, information and communications. New insights will help design, compose, predict, and control diverse networks to increase the Army mission effectiveness under complex, dynamic, and hostile conditions. For example, development of wireless emulation for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) enables the design and testing of secure networks at sufficient levels of fidelity and with sufficient speed to understand the behaviors of network-centric warfare technologies. Using an emulation testbed, ARL is establishing the fundamental tradeoffs between topology, granularity, heterogeneity, complexity, sparseness, latency, resource usage, and network performance or behavior leading to secure scalable architectures and protocols with predictable performance.
Network Attack Detection and Cyber Defense: ARL develops novel techniques and tools that parry evolving cyber threats to both conventional and mobile networks, recognize malware and exfiltrations, and enable forensic analysis of post-penetration activities. Current research seeks future capabilities: role of coverts channels and steganalysis, predictive models of adversary networks, tamper resistant, immune networks and systems, automated remediation, means to neutralize adversary. ARL tests concepts quickly with in-house analysts in live, real-world environments. For MANETs, ARL develops secure, high-capacity multiples access schemes that provide low probability of detection and anti-jam communications, and novel techniques for defense from cyber attacks unique to wireless, mobile environments.
Signal Processing for Communications: ARL conducts basic and applied research in battlefield digital communication and signal processing to develop innovative multi-disciplinary networked signal processing algorithms, performance analysis, fundamental limits, and processing architectures and circuits. This supports network design and implementation that helps integrate security, sensing, mobility, and control, and includes adaptive distributed routing and mobility management techniques for secure mobile tactical wireless ad hoc networks. ARL also builds the fundamental science and technology needed to design new generations of sensor networks, including sensor radios, modems, and related communications and processing devices.