First responders and warfighters lack effective, context-aware use and adaptation of tactical resources and the ability to get relevant information when they critically need it. Software and system capabilities do not keep pace with their changing needs and must be adapted at the operational edge, or periphery, of the network.
The SEI sees great potential in providing user-controlled system adaptation to first responders, warfighters, and others working with handheld devices in tactical environments at the edge. A key to creating effective handheld tactical systems for these users involves development of mobile applications that are modifiable at runtime to support situation-determined needs.
The Advanced Mobile Systems (AMS) Initiative explores mobile systems and strategies that increase the flexibility of edge users as they respond to diverse missions and tactical network infrastructure. Our approach employs a virtual-machine, peer-to-peer architecture on a cloudlet and a thick client app on a handheld device to provide precise and tailorable context information at the tactical edge while efficiently using resources.
The AMS Initiative responds to the challenges of supplying informational resources to the edge by focusing on current obstacles to achieving greater mobile capabilities in this environment:
- increasing the computational power of mobile devices
- developing apps that users can easily customize
- making information capture and display adaptive to the user's context
- optimizing battery power and bandwidth
- dealing with the security requirements of tactical networks
- operating optimally, given unreliable availability of network resources in crisis environments