DARPA plans on creating a high-bandwidth, wireless communication system that will run without any physical infrastructure. This system would allow central command bases and other important points of contact to stay in communication with troops out in the field – no matter the distance or what kind of rough terrain lies in between.
The testing phase is likely still a while away, considering DARPA still needs to invent key components in their “Mobile Hotspot” plan, but when they do get ready to test, I image they’ll be testing in some pretty interesting locations. Trying to communicate mission critical information with a group out in the field is not the time to uncover bugs that didn’t occur in the safety of a lab.
Here’s some more information on the project from the DARPA press release:
Providing high-bandwidth communications for troops in remote forward operating locations is not only critical but also challenging because a reliable infrastructure optimized for remote geographic areas does not exist. When you introduce additional needs, such as communication support for data feeds from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) transmitting information to troops on patrol in remote areas, you face a host of new challenges where dropped signals can create a serious threat to a warfighter’s situational awareness.