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DOD Taps GE Research to Create 5G-Enabled Smart Warehouses at Two Military Bases

GE Research

DOD Taps GE Research to Create 5G-Enabled Smart Warehouses at Two Military Bases

The Department of Defense has awarded GE Research two contracts totaling $36 million to create 5G-enabled smart warehouses at the Naval Base San Diego in California and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia.

GE Research will be utilizing digital twins to build the smart warehouses. The virtual replicas will integrate real-time asset tracking and autonomous robots to validate and inspect warehouse inventory, GE Research said.

According to Michael Dell’Anno, one of the projects’ principal investigators, efforts will be directed at developing a “just-in-time” inventory scenario wherein supplies are immediately shipped out of factories as they arrive.

Implementing that scenario, Dell’Anno said, would reflect on the efficiency of a warehouse.

“It would basically signal that you are able to time the delivery and shipping of supplies, so perfectly that inventory never sits,” he explained.

Dell’Anno’s co-principal investigator, SM Hasan, added that GE Research’s work for the DOD will provide the Navy and Marine Corps better visibility into their warehouse inventory for faster decision making.

Hasan noted that his and Dell’Anno’s teams will be able to provide a snapshot of the entire warehouse inventory every 15 minutes.

The smart warehouse projects are part of the DOD’s $600 million 5G initiative, which was announced in October.

The multi-million dollar effort supports experimentation and testing for 5G dual-use applications at five U.S. military test sites. Other projects focus on harnessing 5G for augmented reality/virtual reality training, dynamic spectrum utilization and distributed command and control.

A second wave of 5G experiments at seven additional military sites is in the works. According to a SIGNAL Magazine report, future experiments will focus on enhancing aircraft mission readiness, providing augmented reality support for medical training and telemedicine and establishing wireless connectivity for tactical operations centers and combat operations centers.

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