The Evolution Of Untethered Communications
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1997
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
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The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
Support for this project was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 97-80464
International Standard Book Number 0-309-05946-1
Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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COMMITTEE ON EVOLUTION OF UNITHERED COMMUNICATIONS
DAVID J. GOODMAN, Rutgers University, Chair
NORMAN ABRAMSON, ALOHA Networks, Inc.
EUGENE CACCIAMANI, Hughes Network Systems
JOEL ENGEL, Ameritech
MARK EPSTEIN, QUALCOMM, Inc.
BRUCE FETTE, Motorola, Inc.
DOUGLAS C. FIELDS, United Parcel Service
BEZALEL GAVISH, Vanderbilt University
ANDREA GOLDSMITH, California Institute of Technology
RANDY H. KATZ, University of California at Berkeley
EDWIN A. KELLEY, Hughes Aircraft Company
KAVEH PAHLAVAN, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
CHARLES E. PERKINS, Sun Microsystems
THEODORE RAPPAPORT, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
JESSE RUSSELL, AT&T Laboratories
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair
FRANCES E. ALLEN, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
JAMES CHIDDIX, Time Warner Cable
JEFF DOZIER, University of California at Santa Barbara
A.G. FRASER, AT&T Corporation
SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley
JAMES GRAY, Microsoft Corporation
BARBARA J. GROSZ, Harvard University
PATRICK M. HANRAHAN, Stanford University
JUDITH HEMPEL, University of California at San Francisco
DEBORAH A. JOSEPH, University of Wisconsin
BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation
EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA, University of Washington
MICHAEL LESK, Bellcore
DAVID LIDDLE, Interval Research
BARBARA H. LISKOV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN MAJOR, QUALCOMM, Inc.
DAVID G. MESSERSCHMITT, University of California at Berkeley
DONALD NORMAN, Hewlett-Packard Company
RAYMOND OZZIE, Rhythmix Corporation
DONALD SIMBORG, KnowMed Systems
LESLIE L. VADASZ, Intel Corporation
MAJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director
HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Staff Officer
JERRY R. SHEEHAN, Program Officer
ALAN S. INOUYE, Program Officer
JON EISENBERG, Program Officer
MARK E. BALKOVICH, Research Associate
JANET BRISCOE, Administrative Associate
LISA L. SHUM, Project Assistant
SYNOD P. BOYD, Project Assistant
COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS
ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair
W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair
PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University
LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania
RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University
JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara
MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University
L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America, Inc.
JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University
CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company
PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc.
KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota
KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles
DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company
MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania
NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory
CHANG-LIN TIEN, University of California at Berkeley
NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director
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In 1994, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated the Global Mobile Information Systems (GloMo) program to apply advances in high-speed computation, signal processing, and miniaturization to mobile, wireless, multimedia information systems. The GloMo program is intended to develop the technologies that will enable military forces to carry out communication and computing tasks free of tethersthat is, cables to power sources or telecommunications networks. The concept of "untethered" communications unites mobile and wireless operations.
In response to a request from DARPA, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council initiated a one-year study on untethered communications in July 1996. To carry out the study, the CSTB appointed a committee of 15 wireless-technology experts, including researchers, program managers, technology developers, and users working in industry and academia. The Committee on the Evolution of Untethered Communications was charged with advising DARPA on where to invest in information technology for mobile wireless systems. In particular, DARPA posed the following questions:
This report presents the results of the CSTB study. In addition to answering DARPA's questions, the report provides a wealth of information of interest to a broader audience, suggesting that this is an era of unprecedented change, growth, and promise in untethered communications for both civilian and military users. The report explores the evolution of wireless technology, the often-fruitful synergy between commercial and military research and development efforts, and the technical challenges still to be overcome. Many examples of past ingenuity and future opportunities in wireless systems are noted. Although much of the information can be obtained piecemeal from other sources, it is rarely collected and analyzed in the manner found here. This is the CSTB's first report on wireless communications.
The committee met four times during the one-year study time frame. The report is based on the committee's discussions with representatives of military organizations and commercial developers, background information from the literature, the expertise and judgment of individual committee members, and the deliberations of the committee as a group.
The committee appreciates DARPA's sponsorship of this project and in particular acknowledges the participation of four individuals. Howard Frank, former director of the Information Technology Office, provided valuable advice to the CSTB prior to the initiation of the study. Barry Leiner, the original driving force behind the GloMo program, had the vision to appreciate how a comprehensive technology assessment could complement the specific research projects already under way. Kevin Mills, who later assumed leadership of the GloMo program, addressed the committee at the beginning of its study. Rob Ruth, who succeeded Mills, shared his insights into operational military needs and encouraged the committee and CSTB staff to support DARPA's needs to advance and refine GloMo planning. All of these individuals provided regular reminders of DARPA's strong interest in this study and helped motivate the committee's efforts to develop a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the context of military decision making.
The committee also benefited enormously from the assistance of a number of anonymous reviewers. Reviewer comments and constructive criticisms helped the committee transform a voluminous early draft into a tighter, well-organized final report, calibrate the emphasis placed on a variety of topics, and clarify the analysis of specific issues.
Finally, the committee appreciates the effort and energy devoted to this project by former CSTB staff member Paul Semenza, who organized the study and guided the writing and revision of this report, and former
CSTB project assistant Gail Pritchard, who provided administrative and logistical support. It also is grateful for the yeoman efforts of Laura Ost, the writer-editor who worked with the committee during the summer of 1997 to improve the organization and written presentation of its ideas.
David Goodman, Chair
Committee on Evolution of
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