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Lockheed Martin Looks to Keysight for Military 5G Test Gear

Nov. 17, 2021
Keysight's E7515B UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform checks the performance and interoperability of many different systems interconnected to a 5G network.

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications networks are making use of mmWave bandwidth once considered the exclusive domain of military electronic applications. Military users are also thinking the reverse might also make sense and that 5G wireless communications networks provide the features and performance that support mission-critical communications for aerospace and defense applications. To make it possible, Lockheed Martin and Keysight Technologies are collaborating on a 5G.MIL testbed that will be put to use by Lockheed Martin engineers to enable the use of 5G technology for multiple applications.

The 5G.MIL testbed combines the capabilities of the model E7515B UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform from Keysight Technologies (see figure) along with the company’s PROPSIM channel emulator for protocol signal testing and RF performance characterization and the UeSIM radio-access-network (RAN) network traffic emulator. The 5G military testbed is a flexible, modular measurement solution for evaluating the interoperability of defense electronic systems on commercial 5G infrastructure and the security and performance of commercial equipment on tactical communications networks.

Dan Rice, vice-president for 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin said: “Lockheed Martin is leveraging expertise in the commercial sector to scale, adapt, and integrate 5G technology rapidly and affordably across mission-critical operations across land, sea, air, space, and cyber domains. Keysight’s end-to-end 5G test platforms, widely used commercially, provide an opportunity to develop customized solutions that meet the stringent requirements of the defense industry.”

The wide bandwidth of 5G networks at microwave and mmWave frequencies compared to earlier wireless generations provides capacity for the multitude of commercial and military machines that employ 5G networks, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), along with its human users.

Vince Nguyen, general manager for Aerospace Defense Government Solutions at Keysight Technologies explains the need to evaluate multiple technologies: “Deployment of future-proof, seamless and secure communication links serving operations across ground, sea, and air depends on the successful integration of 5G, satellite, UAV, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies.” He added: “Leveraging Keysight’s portfolio of flexible, scalable, and fully automated test, measurement, verification, and optimization tools, Lockheed Martin has implemented the most advanced testbed for 5G and hybrid networks that we have seen in the aerospace and defense industry.”

The two companies will work through a strategic collaboration memorandum of understanding to add measurement capabilities as 5G continues to advance and evolve.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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