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DOD Research & Engineering Heads Talk 5G Experiments, Laser Development, Quantum Computing Efforts

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Joseph Evans, a principal director at the Department of Defense (DOD), has said the department is continuing 5G prototyping efforts and that there are plenty of partnership opportunities for industry, DOD News reported Tuesday.

Evans, who serves as principal director for 5G at the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) within the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for R&E (USD R&E), said at a National Defense Industrial Association conference that international allies can also benefit from 5G partnerships with the DOD.

"This is the same technology that's going to connect our warfighters and our weapons systems," he noted.

5G has transformational benefits in areas such as internet of things, unmanned vehicles and sensors, according to Evans.

James Trebes, principal director for directed energy under the USD R&E, said at the same event that the DOD is funding a multiphase effort to produce 300-kilowatt lasers with industry partners.

The DOD will begin manufacturing 500-kW lasers for up to 36 months following the 300-kW weapons’ delivery within two years, he noted. He added that the DOD is also closely tracking offensive strike technologies and adversaries' missile capabilites.

Paul Lopata, principal director for quantum science, said the DOD is also conducting basic research on quantum computing. The department has been researching the subject over the past two to three decades, he noted.