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The Communications Industry will continue to transform society in the 21st century. The proliferation of cyber and physical sensors in cell phones, smart homes, work environment, traffic monitoring, and other areas highlight the growing importance of efficiently transferring, processing and interpreting vast amounts and diverse types of data. Emerging initiatives in the Communications industry include cyber physical systems, Internet of things, and machine-to-machine communications.

This research focus area includes wireless communication, sensor systems and networks, embedded systems and electronics, satellite communications, signal processing and control, high performance and reliable architecture, resilient and secure systems and global networks, and emerging multimedia systems.  Two cross-cutting and global societal issues that will be addressed within this focus area are "Intelligent Home and Personal Networks" and "Heterogeneous Mission-critical Surveillance Infra-structure." 

Communications research involves interdisciplinary training in sensing, communications, networking, computing, and signal processing of data in a secure and reliable manner to support diverse applications as illustrated in the Figure below.  National and international security systems solutions require contributions from disciplines including computer, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering.

Pursuant to The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology,  NSF launched the Cyber-Physical Systems program jointly by the Directorates for Computer and Information Science  and Engineering and Engineering.

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