Why all the “waves” about who is designing and building 5G hardware for an even faster mobile phone network?
Why all the fuzz about AI?
the military wants it!
faster, deadlier autonomous weapons… missiles, drones, robots
“5G’s true potential will be in its impact on the battle network of the future,” reads a recent report from the US Defense Innovation Board. “That network will increasingly include a large number of cheaper, more connected, and more resilient systems to function in a rapidly evolving battlefield.”
“an important, but mostly ignored part of the 5G specification is a low frequency, long wavelength connection.”
“It doesn’t carry anything like the amount of data being talked-up for 5G, but eventually this sub-6Ghz technology will become an integral way of communicating across huge areas. Offering far less bandwidth, but working across much larger areas, sub-6 frequencies are already used extensively by the military.”
5G, drones and artificial intelligence
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – AKA drones – are already used by the military. However, they don’t transmit and share real-time 4K video and other data across command-and-control centers, and units in the battlefield.
With 5G comes 4K video, object recognition, faster data processing and artificial intelligence (a good example is Project Maven), which will help reconnaissance missions and giving army units information on what they’re about to come up against. 5G could also help in more accurately and intelligently targeting weapons.
WASHINGTON, DC (DARPA) – Missions in remote, forward operating locations often suffer from a lack of connectivity to tactical operation centers and access to valuable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data. The assets needed for long-range, high-bandwidth communications capabilities are often unavailable to lower echelons due to theater-wide mission priorities. DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program aims to help overcome this challenge by developing a reliable, on-demand capability for establishing long-range, high-capacity reachback that is organic to tactical units. The program is building and demonstrating a scalable, mobile millimeter-wave communications backhaul network mounted on small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and providing a 1 Gb/s capacity. DARPA performers recently completed the first of three phases in which they developed and tested key technologies to be integrated into a complete system and flight tested in subsequent phases.
“We’re pleased with the technical achievements we’ve seen so far in steerable millimeter-wave antennas and millimeter-wave amplifier technology,” said Dick Ridgway, DARPA program manager. “These successes—and the novel networking approaches needed to maintain these high-capacity links—are key to providing forward deployed units with the same high-capacity connectivity we all enjoy over our 4G cell-phone networks.”
Phase 1 accomplishments include:
Smaller, steerable millimeter-wave antennas: During field testing, the program successfully demonstrated steerable, compact millimeter-wave antennas that rapidly acquire, track, and establish a communications link between moving platforms. Steerable millimeter-wave antennas will enable the formation of a high-capacity backhaul network between aerial and ground platforms.
Low-noise amplifiers: Performers also demonstrated an advanced low-noise amplifier (LNA), which boosts the desired communications signal while minimizing unwanted noise. The prototype achieved the record for the world’s lowest noise millimeter-wave LNA at about half the noise figure of a typical LNA.
More efficient and capable power amplifiers: Efficient millimeter-wave amplification is required to achieve the long ranges (> 50 km) desired in the Mobile Hotspots program. During Phase 1, performers demonstrated output power exceeding 1 watt and 20% power added efficiency (PAE) from a single gallium nitride (GaN) chip operating at E-Band frequencies (71 GHz to 86 GHz). Output powers exceeding 20 watts and approaching 20% PAE were also achieved using power-combining techniques.
New approaches for robust airborne networking: Mobile ad-hoc networking approaches were developed to maintain the high-capacity backhaul network among mobile air and ground platforms. Phase 1 performers developed unique solutions to overcome connectivity and network topology challenges associated with mobility and signal blockages due to terrain and platform shadowing.
Low-Size, Weight, and Power (SWAP) pod design to carry it all: Performers created engineering designs for small, lightweight pods to be mounted on an RQ-7 Shadow UAV.
The pods, with all of the Mobile Hotspots components inside, are designed to meet the challenging program goals of widths no more than 8 inches, weight less than 20 pounds, and power consumption less than 150 watts.
Phase 2 of the program began March 2014. Two performers, L-3 Communications and FIRST RF, were chosen to lead teams comprising several Phase 1 performers.
Phase 2 goals include the integration of the selected Phase 1 technologies into Shadow-compatible aerial pods and ground vehicles.
Phase 2 will conclude with a ground demonstration of at least four Shadow-compatible pods, two ground vehicles and a fixed ground node.
A planned third phase will encompass field testing of the Mobile Hotspot systems on networks of multiple SRQ-7 Shadow UAVs and mobile ground vehicles.
AI: algorithmic warfare arms race: project maven: automated hacking
The winning systems of the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) Final Event were:
- “Mayhem” – developed by ForAllSecure, of Pittsburgh, Pa. – $2 million
- “Xandra” – developed by TECHx, GrammaTech Inc., Ithaca, N.Y., and Charlottesville, Va. – $1 million
- “Mechanical Phish” – developed by Shellphish, UC Santa Barbara, Ca. – $750,000
The other competing systems were
- Rubeus – developed by Michael Stevenson, Raytheon, Deep Red of Arlington, Va.
- Galactica – developed by CodeJitsu of Berkeley, Ca., Syracuse, N.Y., and Lausanne, Switzerland
- Jima – developed by CSDS of Moscow, Id.
- Crspy – system developed by disekt of Athens, Ga.
The CGC Final Event (CFE) was held on August 4, 2016 and lasted for 11 hours. During the final event, finalists saw their machines face against each other in a fully automatic capture-the-flag competition. Each of the seven qualifying teams competed for the top three positions that would share almost $4 million in prize money.
Over 100 teams registered internationally and 28 reached the Qualification Event.
During the event, teams were given 131 different programs and were challenged with finding vulnerabilities as well as fixing them automatically while maintaining performance and functionality. Collectively, all teams managed to identify vulnerabilities in 99 out of the 131 provided programs. After collecting all submissions from competitors, DARPA ranked all teams based on their patching and vulnerability-finding ability.
The top seven teams and finalists in alphabetical order were:
- CodeJitsu, a team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Cyberhaven, and Syracuse (funded track).
- CSDS, a team of researchers from the University of Idaho (open track).
- Deep Red, a team of specialized engineers from Raytheon (open track).
- disekt, a computer security team that participates in various Capture the Flag security competitions hosted by other teams, universities and organizations (open track).
- ForAllSecure, a security startup composed of researchers and security experts (funded track).
- Shellphish, a hacking team from the University of California, Santa Barbara (open track).
- TECHx, a team of software analysis experts from GrammaTech, Inc. and the University of Virginia (funded track).