O-RAN ALLIANCE Summit - Accelerating Open RAN Adoption
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Testing & Integration

Certification and Badging

North American OTIC in Washington DC/Arlington VA (Virginia Tech)

General information:

Full name of OTIC: North American OTIC in Washington DC/ Arlington VA (Virginia Tech)

Correspondence address: Virginia Tech Research Center CCI, 900 North Glebe Road, 3rd Floor Arlington VA 22203

Link to OTIC web site: https://www.ccixgtestbed.org/otic/

E-mail address: otic.xgtestbed@cyberinitiative.org

The North American OTIC in Washington DC/Arlington VA Metro is aimed at facilitating the design, development, and deployment of cloud-enhanced and open-software-defined wireless technologies and provides multiple testbeds in order to support real-world experimentation, testing, and interoperability on advanced wireless technologies and applications for the next-generation to come. The facility is open to and leverage participation for almost all government, research and educational uses by those with a need. These include uses by universities, industry research labs, and both US and non-US institutions. With some provisions, use for product development and evaluation by commercial entities is also encouraged. Researchers can run experiments remotely on the testbed by logging into via remote terminal (VPN and SSH) which will provide various facilities for experiment execution, measurements, and data collection across 4 testbeds:

  • Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) xG Testbed:
  • The CCI xG Testbed deployment is part of the Virginia State Commonwealth Cyber Initiative program for workforce development and O-RAN-based testbed deployment. It enables users to explore the cutting-edge technology under different range of spectrum (i.e. VT CBRS PAL, FCC Experimental and Commission License) in a real-world environment.
  • The indoor O-RAN-based radio-grid testbed, which is central to the OTIC facility uses a novel approach based on a 32’x29’ two-dimensional grid of programmable advanced software-defined radio (SDR) nodes (mix and match of X310, X410, N310, B210 and B205-mini) which can be interconnected into specified topologies with reproducible wireless channel models. (Located indoor at Virginia Tech Research Center in Washington DC area)
  • An additional outdoor, campus-scale testbed is being deployed at Virginia Tech main campus in Blacksburg VA and it consists of 3 commercial CBRS bases stations and 3 SDR-based CBSD prototypes nodes along with fiber-optic front-haul and back-haul networks and edge (Blacksburg location) and core cloud computing infrastructure (Washington DC/Arlington VA).
  • CCI – CORNET/CCI SWVA 5G+ indoor testbed at Virginia Tech main campus at Blacksburg VA
  • CCI PORT5+ Lab at Virginia Tech at Virginia Tech main campus at Blacksburg VA
  • CCI George Manson University (GMU) NextG Lab at Arlington VA
  • CCI Old Dominion University (ODU)  Lab at Coastal of VA

The CCI xG Testbed has a campus-scale site intended to enable several new classes of wireless experiments not currently supported by testbeds available to the research community. In specific end-to-end CBRS experimentation with PAL and GAA users, end-to-end close-loop O-RAN experimentation and edge-cloud-continuum experiments.  Including an open-source Spectrum Access System (SAS) developed at Virginia Tech.

Contacts:

Name: Aloizio Pereira da Silva
Telephone number: +1-857-348-0572
E-mail: aloiziops@vt.edu
Responsibilities/ duties: Testbed Director and Research Faculty

Name: John Delaney
Telephone number: +1-571-858-3308
E-Mail: jpdelaney@vt.edu
Responsibilities/ duties: Managing Director

Hosts:

Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, AT&T, DISH Wireless, Verizon

Supported work and scope of services:

The xG Testbed provides an end-to-end O-RAN closed loop platform for system-level testing, performance and interoperability with physical and remote access. The two core sites are 1) indoor radio grid software defined radio located in Washington DC metro area equipped with last generation of SDRs coupled with low latency mobile networks and edge cloud services and open-source platforms, is an attractive target because it enables an entirely new class of R&D that will not be possible when using only commercial software and hardware and, 2) outdoor stroubles creek CBRS network in Blacksburg VA. Both sites are interconnected via 10G fiber, with cloud-edge computing capability. Enabling the distributed deployment and instantiation of O-CU, O-DU, Near-RT RIC and xApps.  The team managing includes highly recognized researchers, well skilled engineers, Postdoc researcher, MS and PhD students. All expertise in wireless communication and AI/ML applied to wireless network. The xG Testbed provides the perfect ecosystem for integration of commercial hardware and software on top of state-of-the-art experimental facilities for emulation and over-the-air testing, with CBRS priority access license and experimental spectrum licenses. The testbed is built under the open-source principles providing different vectors for end-to-end testing and automation. The OTIC will serve as a sandbox to bring together government, industry and academia to realize O-RAN R&D and innovation. The OTIC is intended to enable several new classes of wireless experiments not currently supported by testbeds available to the research community.

The OTIC features multiple testbeds:

  • The indoor radio-ceiling testbed, which is central to the OTIC facility uses a novel approach based on a 9x8 two-dimensional grid of programmable radio nodes that can be interconnected into specified topologies with reproducible wireless channel models.
  • Once the outdoor testbed is fully operational (end of the summer 2023) the user will be able to migrate their experiment from in-Lab to OTA outdoor. The additional outdoor, campus-scale testbed is being deployed in Blacksburg Virginia Tech main campus and it consists of 3 advanced software-defined radio nodes along with fibre-optic front-haul and back-haul networks and edge and core cloud computing infrastructure plus 3 CBRS commercial base station and 1 commercial core. Researchers will be able to run experiments remotely on the testbed by logging into a web-based portal which will provide various facilities for experiment execution, measurements, and data collection.
  • Booth indoor and outdoor sites have a range of spectrum available: FCC Experimental license, FCC Conventional Experimental License and CBRS Priority Access License.  As part of the wireless research and experimentation roadmap CCI and VT are working together to enable FCC Innovation Zone in three sites: VT Innovation Campus (Cristal City, VA), VTRC (Arlington, VA) and VT Main Campus (Blacksburg, VA).

The OTIC’s multiple testbed sites provide clients with multiple testbeds in which to verify the conformity of RAN equipment with O-RAN interface specifications, as well as to test and verify the interoperability of RAN equipment. It offers multiple use scales for industry to demonstrate implementations and solutions based on O-RAN specifications via plugfests and proofs of concept at varying use scales. Likewise, industries can conduct function and performance tests of end-to-end systems and sub-systems on varying deployment scales.