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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Secure, Reliable, and Responsive Distributed Sensor Networks


Sensors Directorate, RY/Electromagnetics Technology Division

RO# Location
13.35.01.B6851 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337542


Name E-mail Phone
Mumford, Philip D. 937.713.4042


The goal of multilayered sensing is to utilize all available sensors (wired and wireless; friend and enemy; static and mobile; air-, space-, and ground-based) to establish a pervasive sensor sphere capable of simultaneously monitoring the region of interest at different ranges and granularities. An important part of this vision is the development of inexpensive and easy-to-deploy secure, trusted wireless and wired sensor networks.

Small and cheap mobile wireless sensor nodes already exist, but traditional distributed computing and networking technologies cannot make efficient use of this new hardware because it is severely constrained in terms of processing power, memory, and battery life. Further complicating the problem is the desire to use these networks to provide situational awareness and threat detection in hostile environments. This introduces the need to reliably handle irregular network loads (such as when a threat is detected) in a time-sensitive manner while simultaneously securing the network against the environment, and software and hardware attack.

This emerging research area is broad and requires synthesizing and expanding on a variety of current fields. Traditional network research such as ad-hoc network formation, quality of service guarantees, and priority-based routing need to be re-examined with the particular needs of mobile sensor networks in mind. Security concerns related to the vulnerability of individual nodes need to be addressed, possibly by developing anti-tamper technologies or taking as much global information (such as network topology) as possible out of band. Distributed computing techniques such as distributed data structures and query aggregation need to be considered in light of possible node mobility and the severe resource limitations and security concerns of these applications. In short, this area offers opportunities for researchers from a wide range of backgrounds to contribute to a new and increasing important application domain.


Sensor grid; Semantic web; Mobile sensor network; Secure wireless network; Secure sensors; Trusted sensors;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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