Three new projects for the DOD’s Innovate Beyond 5G program > US Department of Defense > Release


The Department of Defense’s Innovate Beyond 5G (IB5G) program recently launched three new projects that continue to advance the DoD’s collaborative partnerships with industry and academia for 5G-to-NextG wireless technologies.

“The DoD has a vital interest in advancing 5G wireless technologies to NextG and concept demonstrations,” said Dr. Sumit Roy, IB5G program director. “These efforts represent our continued investments through public and private sector collaboration in research and development for the critical Beyond 5G technology enablers needed to achieve high-performance, secure and resilient network operations for the future warfighter.”

Open6G is a new industry-university cooperative effort that aims to reinvigorate research into 6G systems on Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN). The effort will focus on Open RAN research and open source implementation of 5G protocol stack features to support emerging applications beyond/enhanced 5G. Open6G will serve as the DoD’s hub for the development, testing, and integration of reliable enhancements, supporting an industry and federal government NextG ecosystem pursuing 6G technology goals. Led by a $1.77 million anchor award from IB5G, the project is managed by Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute under a cooperative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory. The technical effort will be housed at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University.

IB5G has also launched a new Spectrum Exchange Security and Scalability project with Zylinium Research. Spectrum sharing technologies are becoming increasingly critical as wireless networks face increasing user demand. Zylinium Research developed Spectrum Exchange, a network service appliance that receives, schedules and allocates spectrum resources, in response to this need. Zylinium Research recently demonstrated spectrum swapping for dynamic spectrum allocation on the University of Utah’s Open Wireless Data Experimental Research (POWDER) platform, part of the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research funded by the National Science Foundation. This current effort will leverage blockchain to provide data persistence, scalability, and robustness to create a secure and distributed spectrum exchange. The Zylinium Spectrum Swap research was funded to the tune of $1.64 million by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), representing a excellent example of collaboration between government agencies and industry in the interest of advancing spectrum sharing techniques and machine-driven network capabilities.

IB5G, in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs, also established the resilient, large-scale, Multiple Input/Massive Multiple Output (MIMO) project from MHz to GHz. Massive MIMO is a critical enabler for the warfighter due to its ability to increase the resiliency and throughput of tactical wireless communications. This project received $3.69 million from OUSD(R&E)/IB5G through an open agency announcement solicitation for advanced wireless communications research. The effort will explore key technology components that enable scaling of MIMO technology across different bands/bandwidths and DoD-oriented use cases.

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