Arlington, VA and Blacksburg, VA —As part of a successful collaborative effort, Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC) is proud to have partnered with Battelle to complete field testing of its RavenStar™ antenna technology, an ultrawideband steerable Open-RAN Radio Unit (RU). Having successfully tested O-RAN interoperability with an O-RAN 7.2x compliant CU-DU in VT-ARC’s 5G/xG Wireless Engineering and Research lab (WERL™) and demonstrated over the air (OTA) connectivity in the field, VT-ARC and Battelle validated key capabilities of the RavenStar RU.
At the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA amidst the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains in December, team members from both Battelle and VT-ARC conducted a range of successful test cases in the field to conduct end-to-end testing of the advanced capabilities of this new product with commercial 5G user equipment (UE) in multiple 3GPP 5G NR frequency bands. “Combining the capabilities of two like-minded non-profit organizations such as Battelle and VT-ARC created a focused, force-multiplier in advancing innovative, open, NextG technologies for societal and homeland benefit,” said Michael Miller, Director of VT-ARC’s Engineering, Test & Evaluation Division.

The RavenStar technology is an ultrawide bandwidth steerable RU, with an integrated antenna, that can simultaneously support the entire FR1 band (400 MHz to 7.125 GHz). This product takes a novel approach, allowing frequency agility and steerability simultaneously. It offers a single-device solution to the entire FR1 band, simultaneously providing wide bandwidth and massive MIMO and allowing users to experience the full potential of 5G and beyond.

Initial O-RAN front-haul validation and verification tests were performed at VT-ARC’s Arlington, VA indoor 5G/xG Testbed (WERL™) in collaboration with Battelle remotely. For final outdoor testing, VT-ARC’s leveraged its portable testbed capabilities to test the RavenStar RU in a real-world pole-mounted deployment utilizing outdoor testing facilities and FCC experimental licenses from Virginia Tech. VT-ARC and Battelle conducted a series of outdoor OTA end-to-end test cases in the field utilizing VT-ARC’s 5G/xG Wireless O-RAN testbed. Team members validated 5G internet connectivity by streaming 4K internet video to multiple UEs during testing. Additionally, the team successfully tested and validated commercial UEs over the RavenStar antenna across multiple spectrum bands in an O-RAN 7.2x configuration with an O-RAN DU-CU from another vendor.

VT-ARC is proud to contribute its experience and its commercially focused 5G/xG Wireless Testbed to this collaborative endeavor. The team’s extensive experience in wireless communication applied research, analysis, and the RDT&E lifecycle including the development and execution of wireless test campaigns is ideally suited to help conduct robust testing of this radio unit’s advanced capabilities. VT-ARC is proud to engage with partners in the 5G industry, helping to leverage expertise and capabilities of both its internal engineering testbed and through external partnerships with Academia and Government, to deliver wide-reaching impacts across advanced wireless initiatives. For more information on VT-ARC services, capabilities, and collaborations, please call us at our NCR office: 703.879.8142 or email us at eted.events@vt-arc.org