AUSNET;an Autonomous Undersea Systems Network

A0179 D. Richard Blidberg Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute

A0180 Steven Chappell Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute

A0181 Chuck Benton Technology Systems Inc.

Autonomous undersea systems will require communication networks in

order to be able to work cooperatively towards common goals. The

underwater environment, however, presents profound constraints on

communication bandwidth. Furthermore, traditional protocols have the

limitation of not being optimized to support a dynamically evolving

topology of truly semi-autonomous networked robots. Emerging flexible

low bandwidth, energy efficient architectures and protocols will

enable more effective networked subsurface robotic capabilities to be

possible. The interface between these emerging capabilities and the

applications that might use them is an area that is underdeveloped yet

critical for optimum network systems engineering. This interface

(commonly referred to as an Application Programmer's Interface, or API)

is the focus of a joint program of the Autonomous Undersea Systems

Institute and Technology Systems Inc.

This program will demonstrate the potential to greatly enhance

application level functionality by exploiting network capability and


in previously unexplored ways. We are expanding the scope of the


network API to provide services not normally associated with the

network interface.

This will is being performed in the context of a suite of networked

autonomous undersea systems working cooperatively toward a common goal.

We call this capability the Autonomous Undersea Systems Network

(AUSNET). The paper will describe the ongoing work and describe

current results.