GBL Systems Corporation (GBL), a provider of systems engineering, software services, advanced technology solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., have begun to deploy new 5G testbeds for Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality at U.S. Army military bases.
Samsung Networks and GBL Systems deploy 5G testbeds for the U.S. Department of Defense, enabling evaluation of AR/VR applications in mission planning and training. U.S. Army trainees will use AR/VR goggles to see enhanced digital content overlaid onto real-world environments.
5G Enables Training with an Edge
The 5G testbeds are part of a broader DoD initiative announced in October 2020, which awarded $600 million in contracts for 5G testing at several U.S. military test sites. GBL and Samsung have been contracted to support one of the largest testbeds, demonstrating the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) over 5G networks for training applications.
For the new 5G testbeds, GBL has responsibility for prototype creation, technology integration, and aligning the solution with DoD requirements. At the same time, Samsung will deliver its 5G end-to-end solution and technical expertise, including Samsung’s latest network products, such as its Massive MIMO Radios, cloud-native 5G Standalone (SA) Core, and Galaxy 5G mobile devices.
Through the testing process, the two companies will work with the DoD to verify the deployment of a scalable, resilient and secure 5G network for AR/VR-based mission planning and training.
Unlocking 5G-Powered AR/VR
GBL and Samsung will design their 5G testbeds to support innovative AR scenarios to elevate live field military training exercises. Simulated scenarios include virtual obstacles found in the combat theatre, and overlays of data and instruments relied on by military personnel.
“GBL is excited to work with Samsung to rapidly field a 5G network that is scalable, resilient, and secure to create a prototype test bed in support of a new DoD 5G-enabled AR/VR training capability,” said Jim Buscemi, CEO. “This effort has the potential to revolutionize how the DoD performs distributed training exercises that are more combat-like to significantly advance warfighter readiness.”
Testing will start in a lab environment using Samsung’s mmWave and mid-band 5G radios. Field testing will then follow two U.S. Army training bases that will support a live and simulated Army brigade. These field tests will primarily use mid-band 5G radios to maximize coverage and expand training capacity from a company-level to ultimately a brigade-level of soldiers.
“Samsung is pleased to collaborate with GBL to deliver a reliable, resilient and secure 5G network for the DoD to evaluate new capabilities for our U.S. troops,” said Imran Akbar, Vice President and Head of New Business Team, Networks Business, Samsung Electronics America. “We believe in the transformative power of 5G and look forward to assisting the U.S. Department of Defense as they use this technology to increase training safety and strengthen the Nation’s defense capabilities.”
Samsung’s 5G solution enables quality, real-time imagery to be shared by many participants simultaneously. The Army trainees will use AR/VR goggles to see enhanced digital content overlaid onto the real world, and can use this digital imagery to interact with and acquire information about their real environment. This expands what’s possible in military training today, and provides a competitive advantage against adversaries.
Samsung pioneered the successful delivery of the first 5G end-to-end solutions in 2018, including chipsets, devices, radios, and the core network. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users worldwide, including customers of leading U.S. operators.