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Rice University signs agreement with US Army

5th November 2019 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Rice University is to carry out research to enable advanced materials and next-generation military communications networks under a five-year, $30 million cooperative agreement with the US Army.

The effort is focused on next-generation wireless networks and radio frequency (RF) electronics as part of efforts to modernise army capabilities.

The Department of Defense was the leader of development of gallium nitride semiconductors 30 years ago, a wide-bandgap alternative to silicon that is the mainstay of today's high-performance RF electronics and power electronics. The Army Research Laboratory (ARL)-Rice diamond materials team is now working toward an ultrawide-bandgap successor to gallium nitride.

The goal is to develop RF hardware improvements to benefit the autonomous networks team, which is looking to transform the labour-intensive and time-consuming process of setting up and managing wireless networks.

The networking team aims to create distributed, self-aware networks that can sense attacks and protect themselves by adaption or stealth.

Heidi Maupin, regional director of the ARL South in Austin, and the lead ARL contact for the Rice partnership, said: ‘We want to deliver the capability of quickly deploying secure, robust army communications networks wherever and whenever they're needed. The technology needed for that will benefit the world by transforming the economics of rural broadband, reducing response times to natural disasters, opening new opportunities for online education and more.’

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