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An initiative to deploy a private 5G wireless network that will enable an array of cutting-edge technologies has been officially kicked off in a military smart warehouse testbed, at the Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Ga.
The new private enterprise 5G network supports a broad set of smart warehouse use cases, including warehouse robotics, barcode scanning and holographic, augmented and virtual reality applications.
The move is part of a multi-year initiative to create a 5G smart warehouse reference design. The framework will help the Marines increase the efficiency and dependability of warehouse operations, including improvements to receipt, storage, issuance, inventory control and auditability
The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)-enabled private 5G wireless network will support industrial IoT using the latest technology including Open RAN, virtualized 5G packet core and mobile edge compute. It leverages CBRS shared spectrum along with millimeter wave spectrum to create a robust 5G private wireless network.
With prime contractor Federated Wireless that will provide the spectrum access system, work on the testbeds will last approximately three years, with the first year dedicated to set up. Full-scale experimentation will happen by year two, DOD officials said.
The smart warehouse effort is part of Tranche 1 of the Defense Department’s larger 5G initiative, providing a venue for contractors and the military to experiment with 5G technologies. “These sandboxing activities at military bases harness the department’s unique authorities to pursue bold innovations and game-changing technologies,” then-acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Kratsios said in October.
According to gcn.com, also experimenting with smart warehousing is Naval Base San Diego. The 5G-enabled smart warehouse experiment there will be focused on transshipment between shore facilities and naval units and increasing the efficiency of naval logistic operations, including identification, recording, organization, storage, retrieval, and transportation of materiel and supplies. It will also be a proving ground for real-time asset tracking, predictive analytics, environmental sensing, robotics, and augmented reality, DOD officials said in January.