KU center helps army communicate

Lawrence,KS (10-01-1999)

From University Daily Kansan
By John Audlehelm

Research done today at the University of Kansas may be used by the U.S. Army of tomorrow.

The University After Next program at Ft. Leavenworth, which seeks to train the next generation of army leaders, and the Information Technology and Telecommunication Center at the University have a number of common research interests, said Roy Carroll, chief of studies and analysis at the program.

Carroll said the University After Next program tried to prepare the Armys next generation of leaders for a full spectrum of missions and to increase both physical and communication speed.

The UAN explores low-cost solutions to tomorrows challenges through an extensive network of military, other federal, academic and business partners, he said.

Carroll said the program and the University were just starting to explore common areas of interest.

No joint projects have been identified yet, he said.

Carroll and Gary Minden, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and chief technologist at the telecommunication center, said one common interest was the development of Rapidly Deployable Radio Network technology.

Minden said the goal was to develop radio nodes that could be placed five to seven blocks apart and allow immediate laptop communication between users.

He said the proposed system was like a cellular phone network that could handle computer data.

With this technology, soldiers could quickly build a communications network, Minden said.

Carroll said the military could use radio network technology during an air war, for peacekeeping in East Timor and for humanitarian assistance and relocation of refugees.

Minden said if radio network users wanted to cover the southwest part of campus, they could place radio nodes at strategic positions, such as the bridge on Daisy Hill and 23rd and Iowa streets.

Students on campus could then watch traffic on Iowa Street on their laptops.

Judith Galas, manager of marketing and public relations at the telecommunications center, said army personnel toured the center at KU for about an hour on Sept. 1. Participants toured various laboratories, including the Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory.

Galas said the army officials saw the Remote Sensing Laboratory sandbox, where they saw sensors that could tell rocks from land mines.

Minden said the researchers buried land mines, without the explosives, and different depths and angles in the 12-foot-by-12-foot sandbox.

Sensors, which are about the size of an average suitcase, try to detect land mines and differentiate them from rocks, he said.

Carroll said the tour of the Information Technology and Telecommunication Center was part of the University After Next programs quarterly review.

The tour of the ITTC allowed the members of the UAN to see the impressive variety of basic and applied research being conducted at KU, he said.

The telecommunications center works with regional and national companies, uses licensing and sponsored research agreements, and receives industry, federal and state funding.

This is not the first time the center has worked with the military. The center received about $1 million of a military grant to develop the telecommunications aspect of the MAGIC II computer networking program, which was designed to allow users to retrieve and manipulate audio, video, graphic and other forms of battlefield data. Work on MAGIC II began in the Fall 1996.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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