Raytheon BBN Technologies has secured a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to research optimised information flow for military operations over wide area networks.

Valued at $12.2m, the contract is awarded under the Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission Communication (EdgeCT) programme.

The EdgeCT programme is aimed to make sure mission-critical communications are less susceptible to possible network failures that result from both cyber-attacks and common network errors.

Raytheon BBN EdgeCT principal investigator Greg Lauer said: "Recovering from network attacks or working around mis-configurations can disrupt traffic for hours.

"Our aim on the EdgeCT programme is to minimise that disruption to minutes or less. Our approach does not require control or direct observation of the wide area network and so it can be easily deployed in end user enclaves."

"Recovering from network attacks or working around mis-configurations can disrupt traffic for hours."

The programme uses a new approach to achieve improved reliability by focusing on adding new capabilities to the communications devices at the edges of the network, the company stated.

In order to support the mission, Raytheon BBN-led team plans to develop a network that interconnects users through secure connections.

With these connections, the software would be able to continuously monitor events in the larger network and their effect on traffic flow.

In addition, the network would be capable of exchanging information between nodes in each user group about network conditions.

It would further dynamically configure the way the network handles application traffic to enhance performance, ensuring critical communications are transmitted as quickly as possible.

In August, Raytheon received a multiple-award contract to provide mission support to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

As part of this development, Raytheon Blackbird Technologies will be responsible to provide professional, programme management, and technical services to special operations forces (SOF) across the globe.