Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) will research how 5G networks could support warfighters on the battlefield under two contracts the Department of Defense awarded through the Information Warfare Research Project.
The company said Monday it will examine how 5G connectivity could help improve command and control applications and services and will explore how 5G nodes could be rapidly configured and deployed at the tactical edge when operating in contested environments under the three-year research contracts.
Viasat said it will conduct the C2 application experiments using its Expeditionary Lightweight Integrated Tactical Edge or ELITE Kit platform with a 5G gateway, create an emulation environment for radio access network modeling, network dimensioning and planning using its System Integration Lab and provide multipath transport and network management support to DOD with its NetAgility product.
The company will also use Free Space Optics and 5G millimeter-wave links to meet high bandwidth requirements and will assess rapid network modification and configuration by building a 5G digital twin.
Craig Miller, president of government systems at Viasat, said the U.S. and its allies should explore 5G technology’s potential in supporting combat operations.
“The rapid transport of information and data across domains is critical to advancing multi-domain operations and enabling joint force operations. Enhanced 5G bandwidth and connectivity for bases and mobile platforms at the tactical edge can offer commanders greater visibility to enhance C2 operations and increase situational awareness for the warfighter,” added Miller.
The awards are part of a potential $600 million experimentation and testing program the Pentagon announced in October 2020.