MQTT Sensor Fabric – Everything you were afraid to ask DARPA, UK MoD, Army Research Lab

Everything you ever wanted to know about creating a military-grade sensor mesh.  And a few things you’d rather not think about..

I understood (or was told) that I can not discuss this.  But info is now declassified and readily available if you know what you’re looking for.

There are lots of smart applications to exploit this technology to improve quality of life.  Think first responders, disaster relief, agriculture, healthcare and yes even connected car.  And just like in V2V, V2X safety scenarios, low latency & reliability matters.  MQTT is engineered for low bandwidth and unreliable networks providing fast reliable communications under the worst possible conditions and is RF agnostic.

And MQTT is very low power.  Which is critical in the battlefield.  Every pound of battery a soldier carries is a pound of ammunition and medical supplies that they must leave behind.  Brig. General Kevin Nally (CIO US Marine Corp) says battery requirements have increased 1,290% and reducing power consumption is a priority.  Clearly this is an important matter since dead batteries can mean dead soldiers.

Videos of the field trials are fascinating.  Now if I can just get permission to post those ..

MQTT Sensor Fabric is an inherently resilient architecture for the field with no single point of failure.  And interoperable across coalition forces.  That’s what open standards can do for you.  You can download the MQTT Sensor Fabric source code here.   Everything that follows is now public so I am disclosing nothing:

Coalition Sensor Interoperability and Data/ Information Sharing via the ITA Sensor Fabric and Policy Management Toolkit

This unprecedented technology enables coalition sensor assets to be integrated and networked, and data/information to be shared and disseminated under distributed policy‐control to support dynamic coalition operations . ARL is collaborating with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to develop this unique coalition capability for Network Enabled Operations with distributed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets and users at the edge of the network . The collaborative effort leverages two key technology components developed within the U .S .‐U .K . International Technology Alliance program, Sensor Fabric and Policy Management Toolkit. The fabric is a flexible middleware infrastructure for sensor discovery, access and control, and data consumability . The policy tools perform a variety of distributed management functions within the fabric infrastructure such as sensor/platform command and control, data access control, and filtering of data/information. In June 2011, this coalition technology was successfully demonstrated with disparate ground sensors and aerial platforms in an operational environment at Camp Roberts, Calif . In 2012, the ITA team will integrate and demonstrate the technology as part of a U .K . Persistent Wide Area Surveillance (PWAS) capability concept demonstration . The technology development effort is funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Coalition Warfare Program .  page 28

The Information Fabric is a two-way message bus and set of middleware services connecting all of the network’s assets to each other and to users, facilitating universal access to intelligence data from any point, and maximizing its availability and utility to planning services, analysis applications (including fusion algorithms and agents), and human analysts. The Fabric leverages a publish/subscribe messaging model with multi-hop capabilities, ensuring that messages are propagated efficiently, without duplication, and with the minimum use of valuable network bandwidth.

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tangentially related but fascinating:

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