What is ARA?
ARA, acronym for Agricultural and ruRAl communities, is an at-scale platform for advanced wireless research deployed across the Iowa State University (ISU) campus, City of Ames (where ISU resides), and surrounding research and producer farms as well as rural communities in central Iowa, spanning a rural area with diameter over 60km. ARA is envisioned to serve as a wireless living lab for smart and connected rural communities, enabling the research and development of rural-focused wireless technologies that provide affordable, high-capacity connectivity to rural communities and industries such as agriculture.
ARA infrastructure includes a wide variety of wireless technologies including low-UHF mMIMO, mmWave, sub-7GHz, microwave, satellite, and free space optical communication offering bandwidth ranging from a few megabits per second to hundreds of gigabits per second. The wireless infrastructure deployment spans across the rural environment for exploiting the scope of applications such as precision agriculture (involving robots, autonomous vehicles, camera, and sensors), phenotyping, and smart livestock farms. Besides the rural-specific application, ARA includes user equipment deployed in public platforms of community living including transportation, water resource, and fire and safety services.
For additional information on ARA, visit arawireless.org.