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Navy supports mobile communications research

April 26, 2010

Cloud-computing development seen as promising step for improving information networks for defense operations

More security, reliability and mobility are the big targets in the realm of wireless communication technologies.

Dijiang Huang’s promising research in computer and communications networks – specifically in the emerging area of secure mobile cloud computing – has earned him a grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program to help take aim those goals.

The Arizona State University assistant professor is one of 17 researchers to win one of the ONR program’s 2010 Young Investigator awards –  from among more than 200 who applied – and the only one to earn such a grant in the area of secure networking and communication.

Huang teaches in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, a part of Arizona State University’s Ira A. Schools of Engineering.

Beyond communications and computing, his expertise extends to areas of cryptography, attack analysis, privacy preservation, and attack-resilient networking protocol design.

The ONR grant will provide up to $510,000 over three years to support Huang’s effort to develop a framework for advanced mobile wireless computing and communication systems that will employ cloud-computing techniques.

Cloud computing is Internet-based computing that works similarly to a public utility, providing on-demand information and software services directly to computers and mobile devices.

Cloud components – the various service providers – communicate with each other using programming interfaces, typically web services. This involves having multiple programs – each of which performs a single high-quality service – that work together to provide an array of computing functions.

A more sophisticated use of these techniques involves applications called cloud-mobile hybrids, which combine the high capacities of cloud-computing resources with mobile computing devices.

Dijiang will develop such a novel “mobile cloud” framework, called MobiCloud, tailored to the needs of mobile defense operations.

His goal is to develop a new mobile service model that uses mobile devices as cloud-service nodes with a range of capabilities comparable to cell phones, global-position tracking systems, sensing and networking technologies.

In addition to ONR, Huang’s research has earned support from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Consortium of Embedded Systems at ASU. He is a founding member of ASU’s Information Assurance education and research center.

Huang teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate computer science courses that include computer and network security.

He came to ASU in 2005 after earning a degree in telecommunications from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in China, and advanced degrees in computer science and telecommunications from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.