U.S. Department of Energy Announces $6 Million Towards 5G Advanced Wireless Networks

Efforts to Focus on Adapting the Nation's 5G Mobile Network to the Needs of Science

The following news release was issued today by the U.S. Department of Energy. It announces funding for projects that anticipate how the nationwide expansion of the new fifth-generation, or 5G, mobile network will transform scientific infrastructure operations, including at the 30 world-class user facilities and numerous field experiments that span the DOE national laboratory complex. Brookhaven Lab has been awarded $1.2 million in funding over three years as part of this program. Scientists from Brookhaven Lab, led by Dr. Ai Kagawa of the Computational Science Initiative, with industry partner, ecoLong, a women-owned software development startup based in Albany, N.Y., will explore using a novel 5G-enabled private blockchain software ecosystem augmented by machine learning to improve data collection and communications that link wireless edge devices (sensors) to advanced high-performance computing and data centers. The resulting software framework will support reliable, secure, and fast data transfer to enable real-time data analysis and more efficient computing performance. The initial test cases for this application will focus on smart grid, drones, and radio frequency signals.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a plan to provide $6 million in funding for five research and development projects to advance 5G wireless networking for science applications. 

The national laboratory-led projects will conduct research aimed at adapting the nation’s emerging fifth generation, or 5G, mobile network to the needs of science, with potential applications in areas including gathering climate and environment data and modeling wildfires. The 5G network is significantly faster than previous network generations and has the potential to improve connectivity across scientific infrastructure. Other potential applications include linking remote sensing instrumentation with supercomputing resources, facilitating the transport and management of huge volume of data generated by today’s scientific experiments.

“Telecommunication networks based on 5G technologies have the potential to transform how we design, build, operate, and optimize scientific facilities and experiments,” said Barbara Helland, Associate Director of Science for Advanced Scientific Computing Research. “Advanced wireless networks will make scientific facilities more mobile and agile, while creating a pathway to the development of new sensing instrumentation for the collection of data in remote, inaccessible locations.”

The projects will support high-risk, high-reward research aimed at reinventing the digital continuum, or the connections linking sensors, detectors, and more at the wireless edge to advanced high-performance computing and data centers.

Projects were chosen by competitive peer review under DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement, “5G Enabled Energy Innovation Advanced Wireless Networks for Science,” sponsored by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) within DOE’s Office of Science.

A list of awards can be found on the ASCR homepage under the heading, “What’s New.”

2021-19061  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom