The National Medals are the highest honors that the US government bestows upon scientists, engineers, and inventors.
The award recognizes Raytheon BBN for such innovations as identifying airline flight patterns that reduce jet engine noise in residential areas, reducing submarine noise underwater, and devising software for battlefield simulations, communications, and computer networks, the company said.
Ed Campbell, president of BBN, will be accepting the award, the company added.
About eight years ago, Raytheon Co., the Waltham-based defense contractor, bought BBN Technologies, then a privately held Cambridge firm, for an undisclosed amount. BBN played a vital role in the creation of the Internet.
A 2005 Globe story about Raytheon and BBN noted that during the 1960s, BBN developed the first modem for transmitting digital data over telephone lines and invented a router to accurately relay vast amounts of data to multiple locations. BBN also played a major role in the invention of electronic mail, including the first use of the “at” symbol as a vital part of all e-mail addresses.