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The Survivable Radio Network (SURAN) project was sponsored by DARPA in the 1980s to develop a set of mobile ad hoc network (MANET) radio-routers, then known as "packet radios". The program began in 1983 with the following goals:

  • develop a small, low-cost, low-power radio that would support more sophisticated packet radio protocols than the DARPA Packet Radio project from the 1970s
  • develop and demonstrate algorithms that could scale to tens of thousands of nodes
  • develop and demonstrate techniques for robust and survivable packet networking in sophisticated electronic attacks.[1]

A follow-on program in 1987, the Low-cost Packet Radio (LPR), attempted further innovations in mobile networking protocols, with design goals including:

  • scalability based on dynamic clustering
  • management of radio spreading codes for security, and increasing capacity

BBN provided the MANET protocols, and Rockwell provided radio hardware. The prototype radios produced in these programs were known as VRC-99 radios, and were used by the Department of Defense throughout the 1990s for experimentation.


  1. ^ Beyer, Dave (October 1990). "Accomplishments of the DARPA SURAN Program - IEEE Conference Publication". Retrieved 2017-10-15.

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