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Testing & Integration

Certification and Badging

North American OTIC in the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle Park Area (AERPAW)

General information:

Full name of OTIC: North American OTIC in the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle Park Area (AERPAW)

Correspondence address: NC State University Engineering Building II, 890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695

OTIC web address:

E-mail address:

The Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless (AERPAW) is a national wireless research facility located primarily on and around the grounds of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.  Funded by the US National Science Foundation under the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program, AERPAW is one of four “city-scale” wireless research platforms funded by the NSF under this program. AERPAW is designed to enable experimentation in support of a broad range of wireless research, from waveform design and antenna/channel characterization to wireless networking, protocol optimization, autonomous navigation, and advanced wireless application design.  Especially, the confluence of advanced wireless and drone topics – where wireless networks serve drones, but drones also may serve wireless networks, such as network slicing, increasingly small and variable cell size, sidehaul, 3D aerial networking, and disaster recovery networks – represent research topics that AERPAW aspires to enable.

The core features of AERPAW are: (i) remote usability, (ii) embedding in the real-world, representing not just realistic but real Radio Frequency (RF) as well as airspace environment, in an extensive outdoor urban/suburban/agricultural setting, and (iii) the flexibility of equipment to explore this RF and airspace environment. These features provide the researcher-user the ability to define a broad range of experimental scenarios in support of a broad range of impactful research projects. To enable these, AERPAW uses Software Defined Radios (SDR), and a custom vehicle and vehicle control platform fabricated from off-the-shelf hardware, open-source code, and purpose-built AERPAW software. The substrate of AERPAW is thus composed of a number AERPAW Hardware Nodes (AHNs), each of which comprises multiple SDRs (NI USRPs), and a companion computer to control them.  Some AHNs are “Fixed”, mounted on 60-foot towers (or in a few cases on light poles and rooftops), others are “Portable”, battery-powered, possible to position at arbitrary locations, and also of being mounted on UAVs (or their ground-based wheeled counterparts, called “rovers”).  The companion computers on the Portable AHNs are also fully capable of programming and controlling the UAVs and rovers.  Thus, the researcher using AERPAW for experimentation has access to programmable radios, and programmable drones, which they can fully program themselves.

The ARPW OTIC will enable testing and integration in the context of O-RAN Alliance specifications focusing specifically on scenarios and use cases motivated by communications needs and capabilities of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, and other non-terrestrial networks.  At its inception, it will be co-located with the NSF-funded AERPAW research facility.  Capabilities specifically targeted by the ARPW OTIC will include traffic scenarios motivated by 3D mobile endpoints and real-time communications needs.  In future, the ARPW OTIC may focus on in-field testing of O-RUs with mobile aerial UEs. O-RAN specific capabilities of AERPAW include testing equipment and software from Keysight (UESim, RUSim, CoreSim, ORAN Studio, RIC Tester). Initially AERPAW OTIC will provide conformance testing, E2E badging, and IOT badging services.

As an OTIC, AERPAW has state-of-the-art facilities, test equipment and technical staff to support the O-RAN Alliance Certification and Badging programs for WG4. and WG5. In particular, AERPAW OTIC plans to support the following services:

1. O-RAN Certification Services (see Table 6.1-1 of the O-RAN Alliance TIFG "Certification and Badging Processes and Procedures" document)

a) Interface: O-RAN Open Fronthaul incl. CUSM-planes, Subsystem (DUT): O-RU (WG4)

b) Interface: O-RAN Open Fronthaul incl. CUSM-planes, Subsystem (DUT): O-DU (WG4)

c) Interface: O-RAN Open Fronthaul incl. CUSM-planes, Subsystem (DUT): O-DU/O-CU (WG4)

2. O-RAN Interoperability Test (IOT) Badging Services (see Table 7.1-1 of the O-RAN Alliance TIFG "Certification and Badging Processes and Procedures" document)

a) Interface: O-RAN Open Fronthaul, Subsystems (DUT Pair): O-RU, O-DU (WG4)

b) Interface: O-RAN Open Fronthaul, Subsystems (DUT Pair): O-RU, O-DU/O-CU  (WG4)

c) Interface: X2, Subsystems (DUT Pair): eNB, en-gNB (WG5)

d) Interface: F1-C, Subsystems (DUT Pair): gNB-CU, gNB-DU (WG5)

e) Interface: Xn-C, Subsystems (DUT Pair): gNB, gNB (WG5)

At this time, the lab setup is under development, and no certificates or badges can be offered presently. AERPAW OTIC expects to support certification services in 1.a, 1.b, 1.c, and IOT badging services in 2.a, 2.b, by May 15, 2024. AERPAW also expects to support IOT badging services in 2.c, 2.d, and 2.e, as well as end-to-end badging services, by August 15, 2024. AERPAW will inform the O-RAN Alliance TIFG as soon as these services are formally released by or before the expected dates.

AERPAW OTIC will also support RIC testing and research related to WG2 and WG3.  In addition, NC State has advanced facilities as well as faculty and students to support research into UAV wireless technology that use 4G LTE and 5G NR radio access networks. AERPAW is willing to host plug fests starting Fall 2024 or Spring 2025.


Name: Ismail Guvenc
Telephone number: +1-919-513-1378
Responsibilities / duties: AERPAW PI and Director. Point of contact for AERPAW OTIC

Name: Rudra Dutta
Telephone number: +1-919-515-8650
Responsibilities/ duties: AERPAW Co-PI, network architecture lead. Point of contact for AERPAW OTIC

North Carolina State University