Mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) do not scale. The aim of this research is to prove that a higher communication tier can be created using autonomously configuring directional links in a flexible backbone network that connects MANET-like small clusters in an architecture that is "base-station-like." This research will address important, unsolved research problems in stabilization, pointing, acquisition, tracking (SPAT), bootstrapping, and topology control algorithms needed to make our "hybrid" directional free space optical (FSO) and radio frequency (RF) networks a reality. The research will help to resolve link physics issues that affect the FSO/RF channel, including: (i) fading of the urban hybrid FSO/RF channel; (ii) measurements of temporal and spatial correlation functions on the channel; and (iii) studies of the performance of non-imaging FSO receivers with regard to amelioration of the tip-tilt and beam break-up problems of the FSO channel. We will also build and study new optical wireless nodes with novel design features that make them potentially valuable in indoor optical wireless applications where RF is not desirable because of interference problems, such as in the healthcare industry.
Transceiver and Network Technology Developments for Directional Hybrid Wireless Networks is a three-year, $320K grant.