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Oakland University Community Project Request
Project: OU Vehicular Wireless Communications System Testing and Standards Facility
Amount: $3,000,000
Account: NIST Construction of Research Facilities

Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) are being developed to make transportation safer, greener, and more enjoyable. Wireless communication is a key enabling technology for C-ITS, covering vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications that include two-way communication between other vehicles, infrastructure and pedestrians. C-ITS relies on 5G networks to connect almost everything around us with an ultra-fast, highly reliable, and fully responsive network. 5G will require multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antennas with many antenna elements to send and receive more data simultaneously. The United States has made great strides towards development of C-ITS and advanced mobility but one important gap exists - specialized facilities to develop performance standards for these antenna solutions and to establish measurement standards for test facilities to demonstrate compliance for safe C-ITS implementation. Independent, open-use, U.S.-based facilities for smart antenna and end-to-end communication solutions for the automotive and defense sectors are critical to our global position in C-ITS and advanced mobility. In addition, current and new broadband cellular technology must co-exist with passive systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other passive wireless systems.

Oakland University (OU), a Michigan public university in Rochester Hills, MI, is proposing to acquire a multi-probe, indoor measurement system to characterize the performance of antennas and communications systems on large platforms to address this important need on a national and regional basis. If funded, the testing, certification, and research development measurement system will be the only vehicle-level, independent, open-use facility of its kind in the U.S. OU has operated an outdoor antenna measurement system for research, education and industry testing since 2008 but that system does not meet the speed and measurement accuracy requirements of 5G wireless communication systems. In addition, it can’t perform full communication system and co-existence analyses of multiple wireless systems.  Under the leadership of OU faculty in the Applied Electromagnetics & Wireless Lab, the proposed measurement system would be used for workforce development\training, research, product development, certification and standards development activities.  Faculty and students, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral levels, will gain valuable experience operating and maintaining this capability.

Based on our prior experience, we anticipate the new facility will be used by over 60 companies including automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM), Tier-I\II suppliers, federal laboratories, academic institutions and the U.S. Military. OU made a significant investment in this initiative by setting aside 5,000 square feet of a recently purchased 50,000 square foot research building for this measurement system. The combined commitment of OU, along with this request, will enable Michigan and the U.S. to close an important technology gap in wireless technology testing and standards development, thus enabling vehicle autonomy and connectivity projects to flourish. The proposed system, MVG SG3000F, is capable of characterizing the three-dimensional radiation pattern and communication system performance of antennas on large complex structures such as military/civilian vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

OU is committed to keeping Michigan and the U.S. at the forefront of advanced mobility. This new infrastructure is critical to ensuring that goal. OU will build on its past experience as an independent entity to serve as a magnet for these companies to have access to this capability.  In addition, OU will continue to grow and train the workforce in mobility systems through its academic programs. Foremost, this facility will be utilized to develop new testing standards for measurements on complex structures to ensure performance and safety of  on-vehicle wireless solutions.

OU Contact: Louay Chamra, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, 248-370-2217

D.C. Contact: Mark Burnham, 703-408-5459