Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University partner to assist military communications

by | Dec 6, 2022


  • Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University are partnering alongside Virginia Tech and PQSecure Technologies to research and develop military communication technology
  • The consortium aims to create a universal radio adapter to enable secure operations for U.S. military, government, and critical infrastructure systems
  • According to FAU, the goal of the universal radio adapter is to accelerate transformative outcomes on how U.S. Department of Defense personnel, aircrafts, and other devices operated through either friendly or adversary untrusted 5G network infrastructure
  • The research team will also establish a research hub for investigating 5G capabilities

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University (FIU) are both recipients of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create a universal radio adapter that will enable seamless and secure operations for U.S. military, government, and critical infrastructure systems.

The pair of Florida colleges, alongside Virginia Tech and PQSecure Technologies, received a one-year, $750,000 grant that will enable comprehensive research and development of military technology.

The project is a component of the NSF’s advancement of 5G technologies to provide critical infrastructure operators and the U.S. government with safe communications during events related to national security.

The FAU, FIU, Virginia Tech, and PQ Secure Technologies effort is one of 16 multidisciplinary teams selected nationally by the NSF for the 2022 Convergence Accelerator program.

“This cooperative research project will extend and enhance the capabilities of the participating universities, industry and community partners, and will provide a streamlined and stable platform for industry-university-community engagement and collaboration in the critical field of secure wireless communications,” said Stella Batalama, dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

According to FAU, the goal of the universal radio adapter is to accelerate transformative outcomes on how U.S. Department of Defense personnel, aircrafts, and other devices operated through either friendly or adversary untrusted 5G network infrastructure.

The research team will also establish a research hub for investigating 5G capabilities so that undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students may receive training in relevant technologies.

“5G is used to connect more than just mobile phones, expanding the so-called threat surface,” said Dimitris Pados, Ph.D., principal investigator for FAU. “The 5G radio access network standards offer increased spectral efficiency and new spectrum utilization such as millimeter-wave. The 5G core is designed to support a distributed architecture of microservices implemented on an elastic cloud-based backplane.”

The research effort is the latest example of a Florida university working in tandem with the federal government after the University of Florida (UF) partnered with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) this summer to bolster cybersecurity measures.

The agreement between UF and the CIA calls for research on the use of AIML—artificial intelligence and machine learning—to identify and prevent hostile actors from infiltrating computer networks, with researchers connected to the Florida Institute for National Security at UF  performing the work.

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