May 21, 2012


Researchers Improve Fast-Moving Mobile Networks

Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) allow people in multiple, rapidly-moving vehicles to communicate with each other – such as in military or emergency-response situations. Researchers from North Carolina State University have devised a method to improve the quality and efficiency of data transmission in these networks.

“Our goal was to get the highest data rate possible, without compromising the fidelity of the signal,” says Dr. Alexandra Duel-Hallen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.

Transmitting data within MANETs is challenging because every node that transmits and receives data is in motion – and the faster they are moving, the harder it is for the network to identify effective relay “paths” for transmitting data. This is because the power of the data-transmission channels fluctuates much more rapidly at high speed.

In other words, a transmitter may try to send a message through Relay A, because Relay A has a strong signal. However, because the transmitter and Relay A are both moving quickly, Relay A’s signal might be weak by the time the message actually gets there. And a weak signal could result in the message being garbled.

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