The Networks and Communications Systems Branch (Code 5520) serves as the Navy's lead organization in the discovery and innovation, development, evaluation, integration, and maturation of network and communications systems science and technology, with an eye toward developing capabilities that have military relevance and transition to the warfighter. A major focus of our mission is to address networking and communications problems of a unique and challenging nature such as the deployment and effective operation of wireless networking solutions in autonomous and dynamic environments. Present focus areas include, but are not limited to, basic research in information and network theory, dynamic network analytics and modeling, mobile ad hoc networks, heterogeneous wireless networks, adaptive routing, reliable network transport, decentralized service operation and discovery, network management and monitoring, and dynamic spectrum access and cognitive radio and network technologies. As such, NRL Code 5520 is also the ONR lead field activity in networks and communications science, with strong ties to academia, DoD, and other government labs and systems centers. We accomplish this mission through a mixture of fundamental discovery and invention, expert analysis, simulation and emulation, field testing, systems level integration, network technology consultation, and rapid capability development

Next Generation Network and Communication System Architectures

We provide cross-disciplinary subject matter expertise in the design, development, and evaluation of next generation communication and network system architectures. With myriad of design choices and competing tradeoffs facing next generation applications and supporting networking architectures we provide both working engineering knowledge and advanced analysis regarding intersystem tradeoffs tailored to meet specific mission requirements.

  • Tiered Resilient Networking
  • Heterogeneous and Mobile Wireless Network Systems
  • Bordering Approaches between Enterprise and Dynamic Edge Networks

Mobile and Wireless Networking Research

We perform both basic and applied research in emerging areas of mobile and wireless communication and networking research. This includes focused research in related areas such as routing, autoconfiguration, multicasting, anycasting, data transport, and applications for use in challenged and dynamic networking environments. We also work directly within appropriate standards bodies and technical communities to leverage other technical work and to improve transition potential for needed technologies. We develop and utilize test tools and methods appropriate to carry out our efforts including the following: network and protocol simulation, analytical tools, dynamic system emulation, visualization, distributed data generation and collection, and dynamic system visualization.

Network Data Transport Research

We perform research and develop needed protocols to better support challenged DoD networking environments and applications. This includes a concentration on both real-time and less delay sensitive solutions. Most of our work had been contributed to the open standards process to aid in broad community transition and use.

  • Reliable Multicast Transport Research (e.g. NORM, MDP)
  • Real-Time Data Transport
  • Applications of Information Coding to Network Transport and Routing
  • Adaptive Congestion Control for Multicast Flows
  • Distributed Data Persistence and Synchronization

Network Management and QoS

We perform research and development to help improve network management and Quality of Service (QoS) approaches within DoD networks. Our main emphasis is applying this work to wireless networks in more challenged environments.

Next Generation Network Application Design

We perform research, prototyping, and development in next generation applications to aid in our research and better support system design efforts. Examples of sub-areas include the following:

  • Voice over IP applications that are adaptive and multicast capability
  • Real-Time Reliable Unicast and Multicast Video Streaming
  • Serverless Chat and Messaging Systems

Development and Enhancement of Advanced Network Analytical Tools

We perform research, prototyping, and development in network analytical tools with a special emphasis on realistic scenario modeling for dynamic, disruptive, heterogeneous, and mobile networks.

  • Mobile and Disruptive Network Modeling Environments
  • Advanced Network Visualization
  • Advanced Network Theory and Analysis Tools

Wireless Communication Technology

When suitable we perform research and support projects dealing with fundamental wireless communication technologies including: next generation waveforms, UWB, LPI/D, secure communications, MAC layer design, and networkable wireless devices.

System Integration and Instrumentation

We have expertise dealing with challenging and unique system integration and instrumentations issues.