Autonomous, Roaming Swarm Creates Temporary Local Wi-Fi Network

The Electronic Countermeasures project is essentially an autonomous, roaming Internet swarm, constructed from repurposed UAS.

The project is lead by Liam Young of think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and Unknown Fields Division, with assistance from Eleanor Saitta, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu, and Superflux and was demonstraeted at the Glow Festival in the Netherlands last year.

Electronic Countermeasures @ GLOW Festival NL 2011 from liam young on Vimeo.

These UAS would fly off and hover above the city, and create ad hoc connections and networks in a new form of nomadic territorial infrastructure,” Young says, “a flock of interactive autonomous drones that form their own place specific, temporary, local, Wi-Fi community–a pirate Internet.”

Rather than carry satellites to uplink to the greater Internet, Young imagines his swarm as a highly site-specific means to create peer-to-peer communication (think text messaging or the old Napster file sharing model). And in this regard, Young actually views Electronic Countermeasures as a form of nomadic architecture–a roaming infrastructure built from digital beams rather than steel–like a drifting island of information.

“Architecture is typically such a slow medium and we wanted to develop alternative strategies for how an architect may operate and alternative forms of projects that could play out with much more immediacy,” he writes.