The U.S. Department of Defense is looking at how 5G can be used to benefit the armed forces in logistics and training, as well as how DoD-held mid-band spectrum might be able to be shared with 5G.

Earlier this month, DoD released four draft Requests for Proposal through the National Spectrum Consortium, a research and development collaboration among government agencies, industry and academia that was formed via a five-year, $1.25 billion agreement with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Emerging Capabilities and Prototyping, to focus on solving problems around spectrum access and sharing as well as implementation of 5G and 5G-based technologies.

Each of the draft RFPs covers a 5G implementation at a specific DoD site.

The four projects are:

Two smart warehouse and asset management projects, to be held at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia and the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center in San Diego, California.

The San Diego project will use 5G to support a Warehouse Management System for order and inventory management for overall warfighter logistics support, including optimizing warehouse operations and improving the “efficiency, accuracy, security, and safety of materiel and supply handling, management, storage, and distribution (delivery or shipping)” at the location, according to a project summary. It has to be capable of interfacing with the existing Smart Warehouse and Asset Management.

According to the RFP summary for the Georgia project, it shares similar goals, but with a focus on large-scale military logistics. “The intended outcome of the [Marine Corps Logistics Base] project is a 5G-enabled military Smart Warehouse that can not only enhance efficiency and safety well beyond the limits of current processes, but also serve as a proving ground for testing, refining, and validating emerging 5G enabled technologies for large-scale military logistics operations,” the DoD said.

Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), to be tested at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, with specific focus on 3.1-3.45 GHz spectrum. DoD said that it and the Department of the Air Force need to develop effective hardware, software and systems for sharing or co-existence between airborne radar systems and 5G cellular, either in completely or partially overlapping spectrum bands — in this case, at 3.1-3.45 GHz. The objective of the project, DoD said, it “to construct and operate a localized full scale 5G mobile cellular network in order to evaluate the impact of the 5G network on airborne radar systems and the radar systems’ impact on the 5G network, employing both active and passive techniques to enable sharing or coexistence. The outcome of the project will be capabilities (e.g. fieldable equipment and control systems) and processes to allow radar spectrum sharing or coexistence with cooperating and non-cooperating 5G networks.”

An augmented reality/virtual reality project at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Wisconsin. The DoD and the Army are looking at AR/VR “combat-like training” supported by 5G, and said that the aim of the project at this site is to “demonstrate how 5G communications technologies can support realistic distributed training and develop fieldable equipment and systems to integrate these technologies into ongoing training operations.” DoD added that it considers distributed training to include the AR/VR protocols, ground instrumentation data, command-and-control replicated data, distributed simulation computing environments and information transmitted from trainees into the shared simulation environment.

The responses for two of the draft RFPs were due yesterday; responses to two others are due by Dec. 23.



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