De-centralised networks challenge

Leonardo ITG is seeking new and innovative ideas which can contribute to or provide the complete functionality of such an adaptive, de-centralised multi-element sensor network.

About the challenge

Leonardo Innovation & Technology Group (ITG) are developing a multi-element sensor network to provide awareness of activities across a widely distributed geographical area to meet the needs of the environmental, resilience and national infrastructure sectors.

Each sensor node in the network will have the ability to process data and information about its immediate environment local at the node.

This data and information has a much broader utility than simply providing local awareness. When combined with the data and information from multiple sensor nodes, a comprehensive collective awareness can be developed. Through interaction across the network, any individual node can improve its own local knowledge either by using data and information from a specific ‘neighbouring’ node or from an understanding of the composite awareness across the full network.

These networks are intended to work automatically, without the need for centralised command and control allowing for maximum flexibility, adaptability and resilience as local environmental factors change.

Also, to address power and sustainability issues, a key aspect of the de-centralised network will be the minimisation of the amount of data and information which has to be exchanged across the network either to achieve a common, network level awareness or to provide support to an individual node.

Routes to consider

  • ITG are seeking innovation in bearer technologies. Wireless infrastructure however faces the challenges of available RF spectrum and bandwidth as well as problems in transmission in austere and densely packed urban environments.
  • ITG are seeking novel and new network command and control algorithms and protocols capable of delivering adaptive and flexible de-centralised functionality achieved with a minimum of intra-node interaction.
  • ITG are also looking for novel and new higher-level functionality capable of delivering automated, automatic and cognitive behaviours both a node and network level within the de-centralised architecture

Project phases

  • Ideation (1 month) - 10 April 2020
  • Application (2 months) - 10 June 2020
  • Validation (2 months) - 10 August 2020

Evaluation criteria

  • Where possible, the network should be independent of physical interconnect infrastructure allowing for rapid deployment and re-deployment (including the use of mobile nodes) to meet the rapidly changing needs of resilience and environmental crisis monitoring.
  • Coherence and efficacy of trial results
  • Cost of implementing the solution
  • Scalability of solution
  • Level of specialist skills required to support the solution
  • Security of information held / processed by the solution

Project deadline

Project to be fully completed by 10 November 2020.

Ideation phase submission deadline is 15 July 2020.