By Grace Lewis,
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Research, Technology, and System Solutions Program
The Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly interested in having soldiers carry handheld mobile computing devices to support their mission needs. Soldiers can use handheld devices to help with various tasks, such as speech and image recognition, natural language processing, decision-making and mission planning. Three challenges, however, present obstacles to achieving these capabilities. The first challenge is that mobile devices offer less computational power than a conventional desktop or server computer. A second challenge is that computation-intensive tasks, such as image recognition or even global positioning system (GPS), take a heavy toll on battery power. The third challenge is dealing with unreliable networks and bandwidth. This post explores our research to overcome these challenges by using cloudlets, which are localized, lightweight servers running one or more virtual machines (VMs) on which soldiers can offload expensive computations from their handheld mobile devices, thereby providing greater processing capacity and helping conserve battery power.