How can mobile 5G cellular networks be designed and operated on Electric Vehicles (EVs)?
How can we best design a platform for energy storage and export in forward operating bases?
Our goal is to increase the efficiency of energy logistics in a contested environment and provide sufficient network communications to enable the future force.
eTHOR (electric Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response) is a mobile 5G network built on an electric vehicle with exportable energy that will maneuver through a battlefield environment, supporting exporting energy and command & control at the point of need.
The eTHOR project started several years ago with the Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response platform, or THOR, formed from a partnership between the DOD - NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge - and Verizon Public Sector.
THOR is "...a mobile, private Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and mobile edge compute (MEC) rapid-response command center vehicle...prototype capable of deploying Verizon Frontline technology, including Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, along with additional applications and advanced computing solutions for partners including first responders and the the Department of Defense...Verizon Frontline’s THOR was designed to address these challenges by creating a vehicle that could provide public safety agencies or the Department of Defense with high-quality communications and applications under nearly any conditions."
The next iterative question posed of the THOR concept was one the utmost importance, not only from a global, environmental perspective, but from the standpoint of optimizing military operations and strategy. How do we reduce or eliminate the platform's requirement for fossil fuels? From this question - and the realized potential to offer stored and exportable energy to the end user - came electric THOR, or eTHOR.
The eTHOR pilot officially kicked off in June of 2022 with a collision event hosted by the Marine Corps' 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment (3rd MLR). Their generous insights into warfighter needs, desires, and challenges continue to greatly inform the project. SoCal Tech Bridge eTHOR partners and stakeholders such as Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)), CANA LLC, and numerous technology companies are critical to the ongoing research, development, and assessment of the pilot. Future collision events and coordinated engagements will continue to provide the means to collaborate at every step of the process.
Events and Engagements
From June 7th-9th, 2022, the SoCal Tech Bridge and 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment (3rd MLR) jointly hosted the Expeditionary Advanced 5G Operations (EA5O) collision event with the goal of helping to shape the Marine Corps’ fighting force of the future. Serious discussions took place and cutting-edge 5G related technology were displayed aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii. To arrive at such a promising goal, the SCTB and 3rd MLR assembled key governmental stakeholders and 5G industry experts for a unique opportunity to directly interact, demonstrate and provide feedback on advanced tactical technology that supports Marine fighting needs. To capstone the three-day event a new and exciting pilot project, the Electric Tactical Humanitarian Operations Recovery (eTHOR), was introduced. The collection of advanced 5G, telecommunications technology and industry subject matter experts gathered at EA50 was impressive, and the group was inspired by the art of the possible demonstrated by their technology. Industry partners included AWS, which demonstrated tech tools supporting energy logistics, private 5G connectivity, edge computing and storage-based workloads; Athonet demonstrated off mobile core network technology for private LTE and 5G networks; and Digital Force Technologies displayed surveillance and sensor solutions. Also critical is the electric and autonomous DANNAR vehicle, which will be eTHOR’s initial exportable energy mobility platform. Other participating industry experts included CANA, DCI Next, Group W, 8VC, and 9-Line Solutions. Government officials offered valuable input to Federal strategic goals and provided insights into current and future projects. Participating representatives hailed from the Naval Information Warfare Center-Pacific; the Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund; a suite of OUSD programs including Energy, R&E, and 5G Operate Through; and Joint Base Pearl Harbor USDOSD Energy. To close out a three-day event, the eTHOR project was introduced. eTHOR will marry modularized 5G capabilities with an electric autonomous vehicle (AV) on a mission ready platform. This combined approach will supply exportable power, powerful 5G capabilities, facilitate interoperability, and serve as a foundation for advanced use case experimentation and testing. eTHOR is uniquely suited to build and demonstrate capabilities by leveraging work on well-established and related efforts. The EA50 event helped understand current command and control capabilities while envisioning feasible integration points for cutting edge technology and 5G capabilities that will improve warfighting effectiveness in future distributed and agile operations.
SoCal Tech Bridge will be talking operational energy and the eTHOR pilot at the upcoming Pentagon Energy Expo on 21 and 22 September 2022. Stop by to learn more about the eTHOR pilot, which is combining platform testing with established commercial relationships. This effort unifies EV platform enhancements with mini modular 5G commercial advancements. The eTHOR energy and mobility platform is an all-electric DANNAR vehicle, which will be on site for viewing, joined by program managers and technical experts available for discussion. We will make dedicated time slots available to engage on an individual level with those interested in a deeper dive on the capabilities of the SoCal Tech Bridge.