Use of 5G in the Field Pioneered by Raytheon

Ten times faster than 4G, Raytheon Intelligence & Space is pioneering an approach to use 5G to speed up command and control decisions on the tactical edge By DA Staff / 21 Jun 2021
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A team at Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) is pioneering an approach that can place the power of 5G in the hands of servicemen and women around the world.

“The services must be able to share and access data at any time from any location,” said David Appel, vice president of Defense & Civil Solutions for Space & C2 Systems for RI&S. 

“Being able to operate secure applications on 5G gives everyone up and down the command chain the ability to see the same thing at the same time. 5G networks provide the speed and resiliency needed to take the command center virtual so no matter where you’re located, you know what’s going on around you.”

5G holds the promise of high-speed connectivity to massive amounts of data from sensors and systems in any location. Now, operators can operate under one ecosystem versus disparate connections to available data.

With 5G, downloads occur 10 times faster than 4G –  that’s the difference between downloading a two-hour movie in 10 seconds versus seven minutes. This type of speed also increases security, ensuring the ability to carry out missions securely. When operators are on a mission, they can set up a mobile 5G network with a signature low enough that it can’t be detected.

5G can provide real-time data wherever the operators or air controllers are located, and whenever a mission requires it, including search and rescue, evacuation operations and humanitarian aid missions.

For example, a pilot on a reconnaissance mission today would take notes, then enter the data into a mission reporting system upon returning. RI&S’ prototype would allow the pilot to upload data immediately by using a speech-to-text application. If a pilot is out of network range, the information will upload when connected or upon landing, increasing the speed at which information is available to everyone else on the network.

“We can enhance applications to run on 5G, so even if you lose your connection or it’s spotty, the latest data is already downloaded,” said Chris Worley, director for Defense & Civil Solutions at RI&S.

“Operators will be able to access imagery and data faster for smarter mission decisions, mitigating the risk of casualties in close contact.”

RI&S’ advanced analytics can rapidly transform large volumes of data into relevant and actionable information, speeding up command and control decisions on the tactical edge.

“AI/ML will sift through the data from sensors, reference materials, databases and other sources to come up with recommended courses of action for operators to review and approve. It will help operators make better decisions, faster,” said Appel. 

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