Tilson Enables Autonomous Vehicles and IOT Research at Fort Carson
Tilson has partnered with US Ignite and other key industry leaders to deliver a private 4G LTE / 5G network to support autonomous vehicles at the US Army post Fort Carson in Colorado as a part of the Fort Carson Smart Transportation Testbed Program. The program is designed to test the viability of autonomous vehicles and sensor-based technologies to:
- Reduce military transportation costs
- Deliver faster services on site
- Improve overall public safety
Fort Carson’s new network needed to support a smart transportation testbed that would enable both the short-term goal of an autonomous vehicle shuttle service and a long-term scalable platform for future IoT research.
The autonomous vehicle shuttle is an operational pilot that will provide passenger service to four key facilities in Fort Carson’s central cantonment area along an existing three-mile route. In addition to providing a valuable service to the staff and soldiers of Fort Carson, the primary objective of the project was to develop experience operating an automated vehicle on the mixed traffic roads of a military facility. Tilson was asked to design and build the testbed network that would cover the shuttle route while providing simultaneous coverage to the installation’s traffic camera network, providing a throughput of at least 250 megabits per second (Mbps) throughput on downlink and 10 Mbps on the uplink, supporting over 1,000 simultaneous device connections.
In addition, the network needed to function without any access to the base’s existing fiber infrastructure, creating a formidable radio frequency network design challenge.
Together with our partners, Tilson designed and built a robust and scalable network to both enable the autonomous shuttle service and support future IoT research. Working on a secure and busy military installation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tilson furnished and installed 70-foot poles along the shuttle route and installed RF equipment and IP-based traffic cameras. The resulting 4G LTE / 5G CBRS aerial network supports autonomous vehicle operations and can be expanded without needing to access other fiber assets at Fort Carson. Tilson also performed a cybersecurity audit to ensure that the network satisfied the base’s needs for security as well as performance.
“We’re thrilled to partner with US Ignite, JMA Wireless, and Federated Wireless to bring cutting edge 5G to Fort Carson,” said Joshua Broder, Tilson CEO. “This is where the rubber meets the road in our efforts to innovate in 5G, autonomous transportation, and smart cities. We all expect to learn a great deal through this pilot that we can apply on bigger projects to come.”
“Building smart bases and smart communities requires advanced network infrastructure. This network is foundational for the early IoT use cases we’re testing at Fort Carson, but it’s also an asset for future research and development efforts targeted at improving public safety, services, and quality of life,” said Scott Turnbull, Director of Technology for US Ignite. “We’re very lucky to partner with Tilson, JMA, and Federated Wireless for deployment, and look forward to the connectivity and new capabilities this network will enable.
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