Raytheon BBN gets $81M to build huge network research center

Raytheon BBN gets $81M to build huge network research center

By Michael Cooney

December 17, 2009 

    Network World –

    Looking to be a one-stop-shop for network science research, Raytheon BBN Technologies this week was awarded an $81 million contract by the Army Research Laboratory to build what the company, which is involved in myriad network research projects for the military, called the largest communications lab in the country.

    With
    the five-year contract, the company will take on research in network
    science to identify diverse network similarities, the company said.
    Called the ARL Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance, the
    consortium will examine communication, information, and social and
    cognitive networks and will include leading researchers from all of
    these disciplines.

    Raytheon
    BBN Technologies will lead the ARL, which will aggregate more than 30
    university and industrial labs, from an Interdisciplinary Research
    Center (IRC) to be established at the Raytheon BBN headquarters in
    Cambridge, Mass.

    According to the company it will conduct what
    it calls pure network science research but the IRC will be a pipeline
    for new technologies for the Department of Defense as it looks to
    develop ever-more complex and secure networks.

    Raytheon BBN is involved in all manner of network design work for private and military communications already.

    For
    example, in October BBN gave out $11.5 million worth of National
    Science Foundation grants to 33 research teams to help develop
    technology for the futuristic network infrastructure project known as
    GENI.

    The NSF picked BBN to work with the research community to
    design the Global Environment for Network Innovations or GENI. Some of
    the research teams awarded money includes The Renaissance Computing
    Institute, Duke University, University of California, Davis, The Ohio
    State University, University of Washington and the University of
    Illinois. Others involved in GENI work include AT&T, Cisco, HP, and
    CA Labs.

    BBN says GENI development is unique in that it
    simultaneously develops and tests research technologies to gain a rapid
    understating of new technology’s impact on the network. Currently major
    work involves ways to discover, schedule and manage large-scale network
    environments and development of optical backbones, disk farms and
    sensor networks. BBN said it expects the first prototypes to be up and
    running in about a year.

    In September BBN got almost $11 million
    to help build self-configuring network technology that would identify
    traffic, let the network infrastructure prioritize it down to the end
    user, reallocate bandwidth between users or classes of users, and
    automatically make quality of service decisions.

    The advance
    network technology is being developed by Defense Advanced Research
    Projects Agency (DARPA) and will include support for features like 32
    levels of network traffic prioritization that will let data with a
    higher priority will be handled more expeditiously than traffic with a
    lower priority.

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