MCAS Miramar 5G Living Lab

US Ignite manages a program of 5G-enabled technology projects under the 5G Living Lab (5GLL) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego. The systems piloted include energy communications with distributed energy resources, intelligent video analytics for public safety, automated vehicles for logistics support, operating automated vehicles through untrusted 5G networks, and other 5G-enabled demonstration projects. 

The 5GLL is a $4 million initiative funded by the Department of Navy, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific and supported by the Southern California TechBridge. It leverages Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband 5G network. 

Learn more about the projects completed at the 5GLL over 2 years below.

Energy Communications 

Department of Defense (DoD) energy managers must monitor energy assets such as photovoltaic array inverters and backup generators over broad areas. By leveraging a wireless network, energy managers can more efficiently and comprehensively manage assets.

The Energy Communications project is set to demonstrate real-time control and monitoring of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) over Verizon’s commercial 4G/5G Ultra-wideband network. For the first phase of the project, US Ignite partnered with Raytheon to restore the Energy Management System (EMS) for the Energy and Water Operations Center (EWOC’s) research microgrid to monitor rooftop PV inverters. During the project’s second phase, US Ignite worked with Raytheon and Energy Technology Service (ETS) Inc. to wirelessly integrate the DER to the EMS. The project team is also developing a customized capability to monitor and control the EMS over a 5G tablet.

Traditionally, DoD has been constrained to invest in and maintain its private network infrastructure. Through this project, US Ignite is paving the way for securely saving network costs across the DoD by testing the capability to operate over an existing commercial network.

EMS Integration with photovoltaic (PV) Inverters and/or Backup Generators over 4G LTE and 5G at MCAS Miramar

5G Pitch Competition and Demo Day

After the National Security Innovation Network’s 5G Pitch Competition, four startup teams were selected to demonstrate prototypes at the 5G Demo Day, which was hosted by US Ignite in partnership with SoCal TechBridge and Verizon. The following four teams showed prototypes that solved operational challenges in areas like transportation logistics and energy infrastructure using 5G. 

  • vRotors developed a real-time platform where users can remotely pilot drones or robots. This telemetry-driven mixed reality platform would enable human-machine collaboration.
  • GenXComm showcased their TrueRelay 5G Mesh Node Relay Solution that provides multiple advantages for CONUS facility and expeditionary deployments.
  • Omnispace demonstrated their 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN) solution to deliver 5G connectivity globally.
  • COMSovereign showed off their 5G application which features a tethered drone that enables isolated operations with no backhaul.

Watch 5G Demo Day video-playlist

Automated Package Delivery Shuttle

Two automated vehicles (AV) were used to deliver packages over a fixed, two-mile, mixed traffic route on MCAS Miramar over a 90-day period. The pilot provided direct exposure and insights on how AVs operate for personnel living and working on the installation. This project marked the first-ever delivery application for an AV on a DoD facility.

Unmanned Logistics

Military operations sometimes need to use untrusted networks, therefore it is important to minimize the exploitation of the information passed on by end-user devices, like cell phones. Recognizing this, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering contracted the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to analyze and develop tools and techniques that mitigate this security risk in the Spectrum Camouflaged Autonomous Mobility Operations (CAMO) Project.

As part of the Spectrum CAMO Project, INL decided to conduct unmanned logistic missions on the station by operating two AVs using the public 5G network. Since US Ignite has ample experience in deploying AVs on DoD facilities, it became a key partner in identifying the test environment and developing infrastructure plans. Additionally, US Ignite developed critical AV data specifications for the project to follow- including the required data format, type, structure, and storage taxonomy.

Intelligent Video Analytics for Public Safety

US Ignite explored two distinct intelligent video use cases in public safety. In framing the requirements for both applications, US Ignite acquired skills and knowledge on the procedures and processes for implementing an intelligent video analytics solution. This capability will help with future similar projects at MCAS Miramar and other smart bases and communities. Learn about the two use cases below.

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