Deployment

ARA will deploy advanced wireless as well as edge and cloud equipment across the Iowa State University (ISU) campus, City of Ames (where ISU resides), and surrounding research and producer farms as well as rural communities in central Iowa, spanning a rural area with diameter over 60 km (i.e., 37.5 miles). The ARA cloud computing and storage resources will be deployed in the ISU data center, and edge resources will be deployed in a distributed manner across ARA farms and communities to enable low-latency wireless applications. The ARA deployment will be connected, through dark-fiber/VLANs, to the other PAWR sites as well as the NSF FABRIC and NSFCloud infrastructures. 

AraHaul

As shown in the map below, the ARA ag farms and communities will be interconnected through the AraHaul, a multi-modal, long-distance, and high-throughput wireless backhaul infrastructure spanning six rural cities and one ag farm. In total, there are 7 AraHaul nodes.

  • Ames – ISU Wilson Hall Rooftop – Phase 1
  • Ames – ISU BioCentury Farm Pole – Phase 1
  • Boone – High School Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • Gilbert – Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • Nevada – Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • McCallsburg – IRUA (Iowa Regional Utilities Association) Water Tower – Phase 3
  • State Center – IRUA Water Tower – Phase 3





Phase 1: 6/1/21 – 5/31/22
Phase 2: 6/1/22 – 5/31/23
Phase 3: 6/1/23 – 5/31/24

AraRAN

As shown in the map below, within the ag farms and rural cities, the AraRAN wireless access infrastructure will be deployed to provide high-capacity, low-latency connectivity to user equipment (UE) such as ag ground vehicles and robots, phenotyping cameras and sensors, police cars, school buses, and students’ laptops. In total, there are 12 AraRAN base stations at fixed locations and 1 on a portable infrastructure. 

  • Ames – ISU Curtiss Farm Pole – Phase 1
  • Ames – ISU Research Park Rooftop – Phase 1
  • Ames – ISU Wilson Hall Rooftop – Phase 1
  • Boone – ISU BioCentury Farm Pole – Phase 1
  • Ames – ISU Farm Complex Pole – Phase 2
  • Boone – High School Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • Gilbert – Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • Nevada – Wireless Tower – Phase 2
  • Ames – ISICS (Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System) Wireless Tower – Phase 3
  • Ames – City of Ames MAC (Mortensen Road and County Line) Water Tower – Phase 3
  • McCallsburg – IRUA Water Tower – Phase 3
  • State Center – IRUA Water Tower – Phase 3
  • Portable Infrastructure – Phase 3
ARA Deployment Map

Call for participation:
ARA is expected to provide advanced wireless coverage for any locations within about 6 miles range from any of the ARA sites shown in the map above, and we are looking for volunteers to host ARA equipment at select locations to support experimental pilots, research, education, and innovation. Interested in trying out advanced ARA broadband systems and supporting rural broadband research, education, and innovation? Please fill in this ARA hosting form. If you may have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at infrastructure@arawireless.org.