DoD Collaborates with Industry and University on 6G Research for A.I. and Other Controversial Uses

By B.N. Frank

American as well as worldwide opposition to 5G deployment has been ongoing for years due to numerous significant safety issues associated with the technology (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).  5G, however, doesn’t seem to be the “end goal” – it’s 6G which is also extremely controversial.  Nevertheless, companies as well as the U.S. government have also been working toward 6G deployment for various debatable purposes including Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) which can be biased, be hacked, and make colossal errors (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and other uses (see 1, 2).  Regardless, the Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced its support for additional 6G research anyway.

From RCR Wireless:

DoD supports 6G research at Northeastern U.

By Kelly Hill

Open6G initiative is a cooperative industry/university/government research effort

The U.S. Department of Defense is supporting an industry/university/government collaboration at Northeastern University focused on fundamental research on future 6G systems and related technologies, including spectrum sharing, the use of artificial intelligence for interference mitigation and control, Open RAN, digital twins and more.

“DoD cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and rely purely on commercial industry to develop [Beyond 5G] capabilities; it must invest in open standards based system integration test labs aligned with DoD applications,” said Dr. Sumit Roy, who is program director for the Innovate Beyond 5G (IB5G) program within the 5G-to-xG initiative of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering), or OUSD(R&E). “The Open6G Center will accelerate core beyond-5G protocol stack components that serve both DoD and commercial wireless requirements and applications. The 6G-oriented research, development, test and evaluation infrastructure developed by Open6G with federal and industry partner support will constitute a key element of North American leadership in future ‘Next G’ technologies.”

Open6G is funded by an “anchor award” of $1.77 million by IB5G, with the project managed by Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute through a cooperative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory.

Northeastern, through its Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT), which is home to the massive software-defined radio testbed known as Colosseum, is providing “testbed-as-a-service” capabilities and development in a variety of of areas, including an Open6G reference software stack. Colosseum will be co-located with a new Open6G facility that will occupy around 4,600 square feet at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlingame, Massachusetts. Northeastern said that the facility also will a “massive AI computing capability” and one of the world’s largest anechoic chambers. In addition to Colosseum, Northeastern has a number of testbed capabilities including the terahertz testbed dubbed Teranova, the Arena indoor wireless testing platform and XMili, which it says is the largest mmWave testbed available in the U.S. The location is also an FCC “innovation zone” that supports testing in spectrum including 71-86 GHz, 122.5-140 GHz, 209-225 GHz, 232-235 GHz, 238-250 GHz, and 1-1.05 THz.

Open6G plans to “develop a develop a common reference architecture and open source software for B5G/6G based on [3GPP] standards and O-RAN specifications, via public releases of the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) stack.”

Some of the participating companies in wireless and tech-related research projects at Northeastern’s WIoT include AT&T, Dell Technologies, AMD, InterDigital, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, NI, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Red Hat and Viavi Solutions.

“Open6G will offer the expertise of Northeastern faculty, researchers, and students to create partnerships that will shape the future of our connected world,” said Professor Tommaso Melodia, director of WIoT and also, director of Research for the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) project office. “We will work with our partners in academia, industry, and government to consolidate the role of Open6G as a leading national resource for next generation wireless systems, their applications, and their societal impact.”

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