The US Air Force Research Laboratory convened two teams (Binghamton University and New York University) to develop technologies that enable the use of 5G communications signals as “radar to monitor people and objects”.
5G, the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks, has been connecting wireless devices in the United States since 2019, offering connections with higher bandwidth, greater range, and faster speeds than its four predecessors.
The idea is to give this sea of waves, which will soon be found in every corner of every city in the world, “another use for these ubiquitous signals besides watching videos of cats and posting pictures of their delicious lunch on social media.”. According to a note from the agency, the difference.
Full Spectrum Control
Both teams have already received funding to improve the use of 5G signals in a way similar to radar, creating images based on how carriers bounce off objects or people.
The new phase of research will combine 5G-based detection technologies with optical cameras already used for surveillance. These networks will be kept secure using another development called “environmental fingerprinting-based blockchain” (ENFCain), authenticating data sources, labeling transactions, and encrypting data.
The researchers plan to build what they call “full spectrum surveillance,” integrating optical cameras and other devices, as well as new 5G-powered radars, so the system can work in any weather condition.
“Our millimeter wave camera using 5G signals works similar to an infrared camera,” said Xiaohua Li of Binghamton University. “We can make the image work in all weather conditions, day or night. They can help the optical camera system.”
“We can take advantage of the advanced features of 5G communications. It has less delay and is more reliable due to the density of its base stations and antennas. At the same time, we will explore the security, integrity, and robustness of the system.” We will integrate new technologies such as machine learning and blockchain into the system,” added his colleague Yu Chen.
The Army’s justification for funding the research is that this 5G radar technology will allow “troops in urban areas to see enemy combatants around corners or in dark places.”
With wars being fought over remote-controlled equipment, the concern is that the technology could be used to monitor the population.