AraHaul employs a rich set of long-distance, high-throughput wireless x-haul platforms, ranging from optical to mmWave, microwave, and potentially LEO satellite communications. The AraHaul platforms operate at different frequency bands and provide different capacity-range regions as follows:
- AraOptical: 194THz, up to 160Gbps over 15km
- Aviat Networks WTM 4800: 71-76 & 80-86GHz, 20Gbps over 15km
- Aviat Networks WTM 4200: 11GHz, 2.5Gbps over 20km
- Aviat Networks WTM 4811: 11, 71-76 & 80-86GHz, 2.5-20Gbps over 15km
- LEO satellite communication terminal: 12-18G/26.5-40GHz, 100Mbps across planet
The AraOptical long-distance free-space optical communications platform is developed by the ARA project team, and it offers whole-stack programmability as well as high capacity, adaptability, and robustness. The long-distance mmWave and microwave point-to-point communications platforms from the Aviat Networks represent the state-of-the-art in wireless backhaul communication, and it offers programmability, SDN support, and rich APIs for sensing wireless channel behavior (e.g., path loss and interference). Besides the LEO satellite communication terminals, AraHaul forms a terrestrial mesh spanning 60km in diameter, with link distance ranging from 9km to 24km. Accordingly, AraHaul enables research in multimodal, long-distance, and high-throughput wireless x-haul communications, for instance, leveraging the spatial, temporal, and spectral channel diversity for robust high-capacity communication, and leveraging the RaptorQ rateless coding for real-time bandwidth aggregation.
AraRAN employs the Skylark low-UHF many-antenna MIMO (mMIMO) SDR platform to enable whole-stack mMIMO research in the TVWS band and the public safety band. In collaboration with Skylark, ARA introduces programmable, high-performance mMIMO COTS network stack to the research community, thus offering the performance of production-grade COTS implementation and the programmability of research platforms at the same time. AraRAN also features USRP N320, X410, and B210 SDRs for fully-programmable wireless experiments (e.g., with open-source 5G and Open RAN software platforms), and it employs Ericsson AIR 6419 and AIR 5322 for massive MIMO and mmWave 5G communications respectively. The AraRAN deployment of these platforms enables research such as channel measurement, channel aggregation, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC), long-distance and high-capacity wireless x-haul communications, bandwidth aggregation, as well as integrated wireless access and x-haul. The enabled-research is expected to lay the foundation for high-throughput, low-latency, and affordable rural wireless and to advance the frontiers of wireless systems knowledge and practice in general.
ARA platforms cover a wide spectrum range. For instance, the ARA SDR platforms cover the following spectrum range from low-UHF to mmWave:
- Skylark low-UHF mMIMO: 470 – 806MHz, with 40+MHz real-time bandwidth
- USRP X410: 1MHZ – 7.2GHz, with 400MHz real-time bandwidth
- USRP N320: 3MHz – 6GHz, with 200MHz real-time bandwidth
- USRP B210: 70MHz – 6GHz, with up to 56MHz real-time bandwidth
- InterDigital mmWave: 24.25-27.5 / 26.5-29.5GHz, with 500MHz real-time bandwidth
The ARA COTS platforms cover the following spectrum range from optical to low-UHF:
- Keysight N6841A RF sensor: 20MHz – 6GHz; up to 20MHz bandwidth
- AraRAN base stations & UEs: mmWave, microwave, low-UHF
- AraHaul: 194THz, 71-76 & 80-86GHz, 11GHz
- LEO satellite user terminals: 26.5-40GHz, 12-18GHz
Besides enabling research in wireless data communications, ARA enables energy efficiency research for wireless networks by deploying intelligent power control and metering hardware and software across the ARA infrastructure. The deployment of AraEdge and AraCloud compute servers also enable research in advanced wireless applications such as XR-based, human-on-the-loop automated agriculture.