US Military to use IoT to perform better on battlefields

Smart cities could support and assist the military to improve its performance on the battlefield. The Army Research Laboratories (ARL) is studying smart city infrastructure to observe how it may improve the military’s capabilities in dense urban environments. It’s part of their exploration of the newest spin-off of the IoT, the IoBT, or the internet of battlefield things. They want to see how the IoBT can employ sensors and other IoT technology and are doing so by testing a long-range, wide-area network (LoRaWAN).

LoRaWAN is used to connect big deployments of IoT devices over long distances and is a widespread and popular networking protocol for smart cities. The ARL wanted to identify how it would work in cramped urban situations with tall, possibly signal-obstructing buildings. Researchers attached several combinations of IoT devices to the roof of a car and drove around Montreal. The devices were configured to transmit at three LoRaWAN data transmission rates and send messages of various sizes on each using the 915MHz, a band used for scientific medical and industrial use in North America.

“In doing this testing, the main objective involved getting as much complete coverage as possible, given roadways in and around downtown Montreal,” James Michaelis, an ARL computer scientist, told GCN. “One obstacle in doing this was that some roadways were not consistently accessible (due to issues such as road construction). As such, data collection had to be spread out over multiple routes and urban terrains.”

The researchers then took the data obtained from the test and used it to study and evaluate coverage gaps and data rates.