Home > NIST Acquires Firecell’s Labkit to power their 5G research on Factory Automation.

NIST Acquires Firecell’s Labkit to power their 5G research on Factory Automation.

Smart Manufacturing with Private 5G Networks

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers have recently acquired Firecell’s Labkit, a 5G private mobile network that will be used to validate NIST’s 5G research. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST’s mission is to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness by conducting research and developing guidelines in a wide range of fields, including cybersecurity, communication systems, and manufacturing. 

Researchers at the Smart Connected Systems Division of the Communications Technology Laboratory * at NIST have recently acquired Firecell’s Labkit for conducting advanced 5G research for their Industrial Wireless Systems (IWS) Project. ** This Labkit is a compact open-source 4G/5G private mobile network that will be used in conjunction with NIST’s robotic and process control testbed scenarios for factory automation research. 

NIST is actively collaborating with industry researchers and has made significant advances in the development of wireless time-sensitive networking (TSN) technology. These advances are crucial for the reliable operation of mission-critical systems in industries such as manufacturing and transportation. Firecell’s Labkit will be used to further test and validate these TSN technologies in a 5G context, ensuring that they are ready for deployment in real-world environments.

“Having full visibility on the core and radio access network (RAN) and their different interfaces is unique and one of the key factors behind NIST choosing Firecell’s Labkit,” confirmed Dr. Richard Candell, the leader of the Industrial Wireless Systems Project at NIST. “Our IWS team looks forward to working with Firecell’s support on their distribution of OAI-based 5G network, as this will enable us to focus on our own industrial applications research, instead of tying precious resources to 5G configuration and optimization”, Dr. Candell further stated.    

NIST’s acquisition of Labkit for conducting their research will provide valuable insights and recommendations for integrating 5G technology in mission-critical manufacturing and industrial automation environments. As 5G infrastructure continues to evolve, NIST’s expertise and direction will be essential in ensuring the reliable deployment and practical usage of these systems in factory settings in the USA.

* https://www.nist.gov/ctl/smart-connected-systems-division/current-opportunities

** https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/reliable-high-performance-wireless-systems-factory-automation