The research showed that AT&T’s private 5G cellular network could transmit health and usage data from a Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk military helicopter in Connecticut to a facility in Waterton, Colorado.
The tests also showed interoperability between the AT&T millimetre wave 5G private cellular network and the 5G.MIL pilot network run by Lockheed Martin.
“These 5G capabilities deployed at scale are expected to enable high-speed, secure-data transfer on virtually any flight line, providing another example of how we’re advancing our 21st Century Security vision by improving customer readiness and operations. In collaboration with commercial 5G leaders, an interoperable 5G.MIL multi-site, multi-vendor network is another step closer to reality,” said Dan Rice, vice president of 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin.
Enhancing 5G technology
Currently, it takes Black Hawk crews about 30 minutes to remove the Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS) data cartridge from the helicopter, transport it to an operations centre and extract the data for analysis.
Using AT&T 5G private cellular technologies, Lockheed Martin was able to reduce the time required to less than 5 minutes including cartridge removal, demonstrating the potential benefits in time and cost for military and commercial helicopter operations.
“Timely and secure transfer and analysis of mission and operations data are critical to military readiness and effectiveness. This is one of many areas of commercial 5G innovation we are exploring to support defence, commercial aviation, and related fields where our 5G-related services can modernise legacy processes and help deliver truly transformational benefits,” said Lance Spencer, client executive Vice President, Defense, AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet.
Lockheed Martin and AT&T also are working with other leading companies in networking and defence to modernise and transform communications capabilities for defence purposes. Future demonstrations are expected to further enhance 5G wireless technology communications solutions for flight lines, aiming to continually shorten aircraft turnaround times to reduce costs and improve military operational readiness. These capabilities deployed at scale can support high-speed, secure-data transfer on both commercial and military flight lines.
AT&T’s 5G and private cellular Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities are deployed together by multiple industrial customers in factories nationwide where they enable ultra-fast, highly secure wireless processing and information transfer.