Research Spotlight: Better, smarter, faster

Army all-terrain vehicleSMU is a partner in a newly designated National Science Foundation research consortium aimed at building both military and commercial superiority by making technology faster, better and smarter.

The Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, which also includes two other universities and 11 companies, will focus on improving how complicated information is gathered, shared and used, from the battlefield to the boardroom.

For example, FedEx’s package tracking system, which links employees, customers, suppliers and partners, is an example of a commercial application of net-centric technology. And on the battlefield, where information superiority already translates to combat power, future net-centric systems will connect ground and air combat, linking shooters, decision makers and sensors toward a common goal.

“This opens a lot of doors,” says Jeff Tian, associate professor of computer science in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. “We envision this consortium becoming a leading research alliance in the United States. Because we can cooperate with the expertise of academic institutions and high-tech companies, we have much greater research capabilities than any one institution working alone.”

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