AT&T, a federal and commercial telecommunications provider, has entered into a three-year Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to develop 5G and edge computing maritime technologies meant for national defense, homeland security and other industries including oil and gas, shipping and recreational boating.
The government/industry partnership will utilize AT&T 5G networking and edge computing capabilities to conduct experiments on NPS facilities that will incorporate artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), smart base technologies and data analytics.
“The collaboration between the Naval Postgraduate School and AT&T will help us explore better, faster means of collecting, disseminating, and analyzing data at the tactical edge, which is vital to maintaining and exploiting battlespace awareness,” said Mike Galbraith, chief digital and innovation officer of the Department of the Navy (DON).
Experiments and research are expected to result in the identification of advanced technologies for a connected system of unmanned and autonomous vehicles that will aim to improve multi-domain situational awareness, command and control, training, logistics, predictive maintenance and data analytics.
Lance Spencer, client executive vice president of defense with AT&T’s public sector, highlighted the importance of the program to the future of national security and defense. “We’re honored to explore and innovate new AT&T 5G and multi-access edge computing-based maritime applications with the Naval Postgraduate School.”
The CRADA initiative includes and will utilize NPS’s Sea Land Air Military Research (SLAMR) program, which conducts activity at Camp Roberts in South Monterey County, on the NPS main campus and at SLAMR’s beach lab in Monterey, California.
AT&T’s networking infrastructure includes a tower and a short-range antenna on a pre-fabricated pad which will be located at the SLAMR beach lab near NPS’s main campus in order to facilitate ease of access for faculty and students conducting research and experimentation.
Equipment placement is underway and has been reviewed and approved by DON offices. 5G and edge computing capabilities are expected to be installed and operational in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022.
Ann Rondeau, president of NPS and a retired vice admiral, said NPS provides an “innovation hub” to house 5G research, noting that the facility will enable the combination of faculty experts and industry partners to accelerate 5G naval capabilities.