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Prioritizing “privacy by design” in a world increasingly interconnected through the Internet of Things (IoT), researchers in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) have created the TIPPERS (Testbed for IoT-based Privacy-Preserving PERvasive Spaces) system. Funded by DARPA through the Brandeis program, TIPPERS is an integrated IoT data management middleware that uses a variety of privacy-enhancing technologies.

SharahMehrotra“The TIPPERS system is an outcome of a very dedicated team of students and faculty at UCI, and our academic, government and industrial partners over the past five years,” says Computer Science Professor Sharad Mehrotra, who developed TIPPERS along with fellow Computer Science Professor Nalini Venkatasubramanian and a team of ICS researchers.

Recognizing the potential of IoT to enhance military operations, dynamically monitoring soldiers and their environment and greatly improving situational awareness, Mehrotra and his team partnered with researchers at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific, including ICS alumnus Mamadou H. Diallo. The collaboration was recently recognized with the 2021 Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) Innovation Award.

“Our collaboration with NIWC researchers, headed by Dr. Diallo, to transition TIPPERS to the Navy and participate in naval exercises has been a very fruitful and rewarding experience,” says Mehrotra. “It is indeed an honor to see TIPPERS being recognized through the NAVWAR Innovations Award.”

NaliniVenkatasubramanian agrees. “The design and deployment of emerging IoT technologies to create privacy-aware smart spaces in the shipboard context, and to design relevant applications for situational awareness that aims to keep personnel safe, was a truly unique experience.”

DialloDiallo, who received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in ICS, is now an NIWC Pacific scientist focused on cybersecurity. “This award signifies the technological innovation of the TIPPERS system and its potential impact in the Navy systems and applications,” he says. “The NIWC Pacific research team recognizes the strong contribution of the DARPA performers on the TIPPERS project led by UCI in supporting the TIPPERS transition to the Navy. This is truly an honor for the UCI and NIWC Pacific research collaboration.”

— Shani Murray