In response to the 2nd Open Call ofRAWFIE (“Road-, Air- and Water- based Future Internet Experimentation”, grant #645220 in the HORIZON2020 programme, www.rawfie.eu).
Recently, the use of opportunistic networks for providing delay tolerant services to remote areas without Internet connectivity has gained considerable traction. Several solutions have been proposed, but they aim at specific settings and make limiting assumptions, so they are not generally applicable. The progress of UxV-related technology opens the possibility of providing more versatile and generally applicable opportunistic networking solutions. This approach has many merits (capability for rapid and low-cost deployment, high configurability, lack of requirements for preexisting infrastructure or human operators), but comes with another set of challenges: The versatility and generality of the new setting creates the requirement that the message routing protocol employed by the UxV-based opportunistic network be capable of maintaining efficient operation in a wide range of network density and mobility conditions. However, most relevant routing protocols have been designed to accommodate a restricted set of possible network conditions and yield satisfactory performance only when the actual conditions fall within this restricted set.
Recently, the MAD routing protocol was introduced to address this limitation. Despite being a ‘lightweight’ protocol, MAD can self-adapt to diverse settings and perform optimally in a very wide range of network density and mobility conditions. At the same time, it possesses several other features that make it very suitable for use in UxV-based opportunistic networks. In light of all these characteristics, the ATLAS project aims (1) to integrate the appropriate mechanisms for equipping the RAWFIE infrastructure with up to date opportunistic networking capabilities based on the MAD protocol and (2) to engage the enhanced infrastructure in experiments, towards assessing the performance of MAD in a variety of real-world conditions and towards evaluating the potential of ATLAS-enhanced USV-based opportunistic networks in connection with the relevant use-case of providing connectivity to remote maritime areas.
The findings of the aforementioned experimental investigations, along with experiences obtained from the integration of the ATLAS mechanisms into RAWFIE and the use of the RAWFIE’s facilities and tools, will be provided as feedback to the RAWFIE community, together with suggestions for potential improvements. Moreover, the testbed enhancements and the set of the obtained results will be made available to RAWFIE and the research community in general, allowing further large-scale experimentation in an important and timely topic.