Through its unique rural deployment in research and producer farms, grain mills, biorefineries, and a constellation of rural communities and school districts, by including ag ground vehicles, robots, and portable wireless infrastructures (e.g., helikite), and by using state-of-the-art LEO satcom radios, long-distance, high-throughput wireless backhaul radios as well as SDRs and COTS wireless access equipment, ARA will serve as a first-of-its-kind, real-world wireless experimental infrastructure for smart and connected rural communities. By supporting fundamental communication services (e.g., ultra-reliable, low-latency wireless for safety-critical control and AR/VR) that are shared across rural and urban applications (e.g., transportation), ARA enables field investigations of research questions that are of generic interest to rural and urban communities but are difficult to conduct in urban settings in early phases of the exploration. For instance, wireless-networked, safety-critical teleoperation of ground and aerial vehicles are better field-tested in open ag farms before their field tests and deployments in complex, crowded urban environments.
The figure below summarizes a subset of the ARA features and the enabled research. We expect many more research use cases to be invented by the communities thanks to the programmability and flexibility of ARA. (Join the ara-users Google group to collaborate with other users in advancing wireless research and applications!)