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Living Innovation Lab

NoVa Node’s Living Innovation Lab supports foundational research in such areas as 5G performance and the security of autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), smart manufacturing, smart cities and infrastructure, and mobile communications.

With the assistance of industry partners such as COMSovereign, OPNT, and Widelity, the combined testbed provides the capability to test very precise timing- and navigation-sensitive applications, such as signaling.

The lab, on George Mason’s Arlington Campus Mason Square, has developed open-source testbeds, created with OAI, Open5G, and DARPA-sponsored Linux Foundation software, with 15 software-defined radio audio systems, as well as three commercial-grade functioning NextG Systems. More specifically, these testbeds include:

  • A commercial-grade NextG Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) system, donated by CCI industry partner COMSovereign, with many features ready for experimentation. This testbed supports ongoing and planned Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), IoT, Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (CV2X), and NextG experiments.
  • A state-of-the-art stand-alone 5G testbed consisting of a 40-node O-RAN and a 5G/NextG 24-node core housed on a bare metal platform, also contributed by COMSovereign. This testbed includes a telecommunications timing service and an optical positioning, navigation, and timing (OPNT)-based, ultra-precise timing service based on White Rabbit technology. This technology has been deployed in real-life test cases, is a city-scale system, and can service 10,000 mobile uses simultaneously.
  • A mobile 45-5G system with a compact O-RAN, CORE, and multi-access edge computing (MEC).
  • A Tormach 1100MX Linux computer-numerical control (CNC) machine capable of creating high carbon steel and aluminum artifacts from computer-aided designs (AutoCAD).
  • A Linux CNC machine that can carve aluminum and wood artifacts
  • A professional-grade MEC, from Intel and Seguna, integrated into our NextG systems
  • Three cars equipped with CommaAI.IO controllers with different roof-mount capabilities for housing our sensor suites. Additionally, these vehicles are equipped with differential GPS packages and enjoy satellite-based RTX GPS connections, provided by Trimble Satellites. Sensor suites include lidars, RARARs Color, as well as IR cameras. The sensors are connected to GPU machines and extra power servers to provide extended life for outdoor CV2X experiments.
  • Opal-RT testbed and a MEC and Implicit certificate-based testbed for power transfer automation using secure distributed network protocol 3 (DNP3).

In addition to other non-testbed—specific equipment, other capabilities include:

  • 25 USRPS (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) with various daughter boards
  • 12x12x10 Anechoic Radio Chamber
  • Two 3x2x1.5 Anechoic Radio Chambers
  • Amtrol sorter
  • Toyota Prius, Toyota Corolla, and Honda Civic vehicles
  • Four Quanser robotic arms
  • Four Quanser moving robots
  • Three driver simulation stations
  • OPAL-RT smart grid simulator
  • Three Lidar cameras (Sick, Velodyne)
  • Intelight traffic controller box
  • Five Intelight traffic lights
  • 2x2x2 battery explosion chamber
  • Two OctoClocks (NO)
  • Master radio clock
  • Two combined color IR cameras (Flier)
  • Two 5G radios (COMSovereign)
  • Two mmWave 5G radios
  • Multi-access Edge Server (MEC)