5G Living Lab

The common thread of 5G technology is the Connection within the EMS vision. MCAS Miramar’s designation as a 5G Living Lab was precipitated by its partnership agreement with Verizon to make it the first U.S. military base with 5G Ultra-Wideband service. The high bandwidth, fast speeds and low latency support the realization of technology previously considered impossible, or at a scale and scope believed impractical. Among its capabilities, the 5G network enables edge computing, a topology that brings computing close to the source - essential in applications that require millisecond reaction times - like autonomous vehicles.

The Potential of MCAS Miramar

As a 5G enabled military base and the pilot site for 5G technologies, MCAS Miramar is an optimal location for “collision events - dynamic ideas and powerful players coming together with explosive results.” In 2020, the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Starts program launched a 5G Pitch Challenge for companies to showcase early 5G technology innovations. Several cutting-edge project proposals were selected and showcased during a US Ignite 5G Demo Day in May of 2021 with the anticipation of potential future transitions to military contracts. This crowdsourcing of innovation is a key component of the NextStrategy design approach and will continue in SoCal Tech Bridge and Installation neXt’s electric mobility initiative.

Examples within the 5G Living Lab have included the pilot testing of autonomous vehicles, drones, and commercial platforms; leveraging a military base’s hybrid power grid to augment city power during shortages; providing enhanced base security operations through digital, artificial intelligence systems; and comprehensive resiliency and mobility studies and exercises that include military and civilian stakeholders.

The intent is to highlight further substantial investment by the U.S. Department of Defense in 5G technology such as micro-grids, electric charging stations, electric and autonomous vehicles, networks, and subsequently, 5G-enabled companies. The end state is to increase efficiency, improve operations, conserve resources, and support testing and development for off base and forward deployment.

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5G Living Lab Projects

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Image by James Yarema

Introduction to 5G Edge Computing