The Optimized Networking Laboratory engages in research to improve the performance of wireless and wireline networks and to utilize these networks in emerging applications. The goals of the lab are to identify, model, simulate and demonstrate proof-of-concept setups for next-generation networking technologies and to add to the knowledge base for next-generation networks, to train tomorrow’s network-engineering innovators and to foster industrial collaboration and international partnerships. One future networking technology the lab investigates is Visible-light Communications (VLC), in which indoor light fixtures are used to jointly perform communications and illumination. We spend 90 percent of our time indoors, where 80 percent of Internet traffic is generated. The lab was the first to demonstrate a proof-of-concept setup that designs a cognitive Internet access system to leverage hybrid Radio Frequency (RF) access points or WiFi and VLC, an emerging concept. VLC has been extended to use very low-power Internet access for small Internet of Things (IoT) devices. With respect to the vehicular networks used by intelligent transportation systems, the lab is exploring the emerging concept of edge computing to enhance wireless networks in order to solve several problems related to traffic monitoring systems and congestion control on the highways of New Jersey. The lab is also investigating several wireless technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles and drones to help in situations such as emergency-response and recovery from natural disasters.
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