ARA-OTIC is an O-RAN Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC) hosted by the Center for Wireless, Communities, and Innovation (WiCI) at Iowa State University (ISU). ARA is a part of the NSF Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program, and it is a large-scale, real-world experimental infrastructure for advanced wireless research that is deployed in central Iowa. ARA-OTIC utilizes the large-scale field deployment of wireless x-haul and access infrastructures as well as edge and cloud computing resources, and it also includes an indoor sandbox for testing and integration purposes.
As an OTIC, ARA-OTIC provides services for testing and integrating O-RAN technologies. Beyond offering standard OTIC services, ARA-OTIC focuses on promoting the openness of O-RAN in research and innovation by providing a unique platform for researchers and innovators in industry and academia to test their O-RAN algorithms and devices in both outdoor and indoor environments with remote access support. ARA-OTIC also enables clients to conduct experiments in diverse agriculture and rural settings, ranging from state of the art crop and livestock farms to rural cities and including user equipment such as agriculture vehicles, robots, drones, sensors, as well as public safety vehicles and facilities. To facilitate experimentation, ARA-OTIC has deployed multi-modal, long-distance, and high-capacity wireless x-haul platforms ranging from free space optical (194THz) to mmWAve (71-86GHz) and microwave (11GHz) bands, as well as advanced wireless access platforms such as low-UHF massive MIMO systems, software-defined-radio (SDR) and programmable commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 5G systems, and open-source 5G-and-beyond software systems.