The Department of Defense continues to move with 5G and spectrum-related research and development, with a series of proposed prototype requests (RPPs) for more than 400 members of the National Spectrum Consortium.
In its third major RPP in recent weeks, DoD has focused on its efforts to understand operational spectrum, analysis and response (OSCAR). The OSCAR project “will create a software application with a unified graphical user interface, automated workflows, sensor network and extensible framework needed for test and training ranges for air combat training to ensure that spectrum is available when and where it is needed for AWS-3 affected systems and operating systems, “according to the agency. DoD went on to add that while the focus is on AWS-3, the prototype “will be applicable to the entire spectrum managed in the range so as not to fragment toolkits.”
“OSCAR will allow military aircraft to continue to receive the rigorous training they need, while supporting expanded commercial activity. But the solutions developed will not be limited to home use. They will also support the operational capabilities required in the joint management and control strategies for all domains and electromagnetic superiority, “said Maren Leed, executive director of the National Spectrum Consortium.
DoD also publishes recent RPPs for Informed Spectrum Access (RISA) and Multi-Band Instrument Control Channel Architecture (MICCA).
DoD and the National Spectrum Consortium have five-year transaction agreement worth up to $ 2.5 billion. This vehicle, the Spectrum Forward Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), aims to facilitate DoD’s work with approximately 400 US technical and industrial companies that are part of the NSC, which can meet DoD’s requests for rapid prototyping and technology development. focused on the use of spectrum.
Lead said OTA “builds on the NSC’s past success in technologies that improve military-trade sharing and expands the application of those technologies to a wider range of military operations.” This new vector for NSC takes full advantage of the rich experience of our members and shows the power gained from technical development with truly dual use. “
DoD has already released number of OTA requests. In October 2020, the Department of Defense awarded $ 600 million worth of 5G testing and development contracts in five locations, with AT&T, Nokia, Federated Wireless and Ericsson are among the recipients.
Specific focus areas for Spectrum Forward OTA include 5G; cognitive spectrum sharing; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; narrowband IoT; autonomous navigation, next generation radio access networks and machine learning, among others.
DoD’s interest in 5G has also expanded to possibility for private 5G networks and use of dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS); in 2019, the Agency for Advanced Agency’s three-year spectrum cooperation challenge, which examines the effectiveness of using software-defined artificial intelligence-powered radios to allow ad hoc dynamic spectrum sharing, ended with final event held at the Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles.
“Spectrum access is the lifeblood of modern communications and is especially important in a global technology competition,” said the National Strategic Director of the National Spectrum Consortium, Vice Admiral Joseph Dyer, USN (ret). “We therefore strongly encourage our members to work together and respond to these important RPPs to support innovation and ensure that the nation’s armed forces can remain flexible and use spectrum effectively and efficiently.”
In addition, last year DOD released four 5G RPPs through the NSC, focusing on smart warehouses, AR / VR training and dynamic spectrum sharing, part of the $ 600 million funding provided last year.
-Ericsson received $ 31.4 million for a prototype project for DSS 5G applications.
-Parallel Wireless received $ 12 million to support the development of the Navy Smart Warehouse’s 5G network.
-Kumu Network received almost $ 5 million for a project focused on 5G disposable with integrated access transmission.
-Perspecta Labs, the applied research group of the state contractor Perspecta, won a three-year $ 6.2 million contract to develop a spectrum access manager.
-Federated Wireless is leading the deployment of a network of 5G Citizens Broadband Radio Service in Albany, Georgia, which will help determine how the Department of Defense is modernizing its massive logistics operations. A complete story here.