With a $10M grant, Ohio State and Arizona State researchers work to advance wireless technology and bolster national security

Picture of Ness Shroff

Ohio State Engineering Professor Ness Shroff has joined a team of researchers at Arizona State University awarded with a $10 million U.S. Department of Defense grant to establish a Center of Excellence in Future Generation Wireless Technology (FutureG). The center aims to advance wireless networks to bolster national security.

FutureG networks, such as 6G and beyond, are designed to seamlessly incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning into integrated sensing, communication, and computation. These networks are distinct from existing networks like 5G due to various advances, including global coverage, faster data rates, lower delays, high-precision positioning, improved network reliability, greater energy efficiency and better security.

Yanchao Zhang, a professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State, will lead the initiative over the next five years. The Arizona State-Ohio State team of researchers will address a wide spectrum of network challenges and opportunities, including signal processing technologies, distributed control and machine learning algorithms, and innovative security mechanisms.  They aim to develop energy-efficient system-on-a-chip technology and pioneer augmented and virtual reality applications in the FutureG realm.

Shroff is a co-principal investigator leading development of scalable AI-based approaches for network control that operate at multiple-time scales depending on the needs of the tactical environment.

Shroff explained “the overall mission is to enhance the U.S. military’s technological advantage. This means FutureG networks that can rapidly adapt to conditions in the tactical theater in order to support extreme low-latency and high-bandwidth secure communications needed for combat operations.”

Shroff’s focus will be on ensuring the developed solutions have low computational complexity so that they can be deployed on edge-devices in the military environment and can function well with limited data. He will leverage some of his recent breakthroughs in safe AI to deal with the instantaneous constraints of tactical scenarios and develop multi-agent distributed solutions that allow for human-like learning adaptability. Shroff also plans to work with colleagues at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to facilitate successful translation to real-world systems. 

An Ohio eminent scholar of computer science and engineering, Shroff also directs a $20 million National AI Institute at Ohio State, AI-EDGE (Artificial Intelligence Institute for Edge Networks and Distributed Intelligence), which develops artificial intelligence and computer networking tools to help break new ground in “edge” technology.

The Center of Excellence in FutureG is one of four new research centers across the U.S. being established to help increase the number of graduates in STEM fields, including those from under-represented minorities.

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