Cloudlets in Tactical Settings

Why the work began

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly interested in having soldiers carry handheld mobile computing devices to support their mission needs.

Where we started

We recognized three challenges that present obstacles to achieving the DoD aim:

  • Mobile devices offer less computational power than a conventional desktop or server computer.
  • Computation-intensive tasks, such as image recognition or even global positioning system (GPS), take a heavy toll on battery power.
  • Tactical networks have reliability and bandwidth issues.

What the R&D sponsor received

We devised a cloudlet prototype. Cloudlets are localized, lightweight servers running one or more virtual machines (VMs) on which soldiers can offload expensive computations from their handheld mobile devices, thereby providing greater processing capacity and helping conserve battery power.

How it helps organizations now

We are developing the following applications:

  • fingerprint recognition using a fingerprint scanner connected to a handheld device and sent to the cloudlet for processing
  • character recognition in which pictures of a written sign are taken with a camera on the handheld device and sent to the cloudlet for character identification and translation
  • speech recognition where voice of a person speaking a foreign language is captured using the voice recorder on the handheld device and sent to the cloudlet for translation
  • model checking in which an app is generated on the handheld on-the-fly using end-user programming capabilities and sent to a model checker in a cloudlet to ensure it does not violate any security (or other) policies and constraints

Read our blogs on cloudlets in tactical settings.