In the warehouse of the future, nothing is ever lost. A massive web of 5G-connected sensors will track every object all the time everywhere, slashing the time required to manage and restock items. The Defense Department has awarded $13 million to a Virginia Tech-led team to build just such a smart warehouse for the Marine Corps. If it succeeds, it will be a prototype for other smart warehouses for DoD — and possibly other organizations around the globe.
Building an energy-efficient and secure warehouse network isn’t as simple as simply setting up a lot of antennas, according to Sachin Shetty, the executive director of the Center for Secure & Intelligent Critical Systems at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center. Shetty says that current 5G network architectures can’t support the sort of sensor networks needed to locate objects with the required precision, nor are they resilient enough to cyber attack.
So Shetty’s team is figuring out new ways to link sensors through the next-gen networking technology.
“Our proposed 5G network enhancements will result in an efficient, secure 5G network architecture that will provide accurate tracking of warehouse assets, communication resilience in diverse channel conditions and near real-time information delivery,” he said.