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Distributed computing in a wireless environment

Wireless @ Virginia Tech

Read more about ECE’s work in the wireless field at the Wireless @ Virginia Tech website.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding a proof-of-concept study by ECE’s wireless communications researchers, along with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop highly connected computer systems that operate in a wireless environment.

Small handheld devices and other computers that are smart enough to work in a wireless setting would allow military personnel and other users to pool computing and communication resources for gathering intelligence more easily, analyzing information more efficiently, and, ultimately, making better decisions in a wide range of locations.

“Traditional wired distributed computing has been around for many years, allowing computationally intensive tasks to be performed efficiently via many, physically connected computers,” said Jeffrey Reed, principal investigator for the project. “Our effort will focus on developing distributed computer systems that work in a cable-free environment, which will bring a new level of flexibility to users who need to work in rapidly changing, often challenging, mobile environments.”

The initial project will demonstrate the feasibility of wireless distributed computing using the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Wireless Network after Next (WNaN), an established program that looks to develop flexible and scalable communication networks that use very inexpensive yet flexible software radios.