The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association this week received the first in a series of investments that will enable the state to take a leadership role in developing 5G Space-Enabled Communications for Advanced Mobility, or SECAM, for commercial and government users.
With Sterling Heights-based Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) as the lead of the public-private collaboration, the SECAM Research and Development Project would draw private, government and academic partners to develop a secured space/terrestrial mesh 5G system that will incorporate existing terrestrial 5G technology. This 5G mesh system will utilize near-earth-orbit satellite 5G technology for ground, air, water and space missions.
“MAMA is honored to take the lead in convoking the SECAM Research and Development Project,” said Gavin Brown, MAMA executive director. “The future of connectivity is a national security and economic development priority for the U.S., and we feel Michigan is well-suited to convene this collaboration.
“With commercial industry leading the way, the SECAM Research and Development Project will run parallel proof-of-concept activities, pilot programs and demonstrations to achieve deployment by the end of 2026. By collaborating with a diverse group of U.S. aerospace and defense companies, the project will allow for rapid response to the need for national and global 5G connectivity by enabling the speed-to-market capabilities of commercial industry.”
Tapping into Michigan’s rich history of manufacturing innovation, the SECAM Research and Development Project will convene partners from industry, government and academia who would collaborate to share advancements in research and development for manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced technology and other applications.
Brown said one of the industries benefiting most from this network will be the auto industry, which has a rich history of innovation. Automakers remain focused on mobility options, including autonomous vehicles, which will require more low-earth-orbit, or LEO, satellites in the coming decades to meet increasing demand.
“We envision SECAM will give rise to a new technology industry that will propel the U.S. ahead of any international competitor,” Brown said. “With a rapid speed-to-market ecosystem, where all of the research and development is protocoled to develop a viable working 5G space-enhanced terrestrial broadband system, the U.S. can maintain and further its space, air, land and sea superiority.”
MAMA’s SECAM Research and Development Project will benefit from its Michigan Launch Initiative, which continues its work to establish horizontal and vertical spaceports in Michigan, enabling the state to take a lead in LEO satellite launches. Specifically, northern Michigan, north of the Earth’s 45th parallel, is perfectly situated for polar orbit launches and has ideal infrastructure for logistics and technical support.
MAMA will convene the North American Space Summit Aug. 29-31 in Traverse City. More than 500 attendees from across the country and around the globe are expected to attend “LEO: The New Gold Rush,” which will feature sessions on SECAM, space supply chains, government applications, funding sources and other topics. More information is on the North American Space Summit’s website.
The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association is a member-supported organization that serves the interests of Michigan’s aerospace and defense manufacturing firms with a single unified voice, promoting the state of Michigan’s aerospace and defense manufacturing community within the global industry.