The Coming 5G Evolution in Network Centric Warfare: The Sensor Saturation Theory

Photo: U.S. Air Force. F-35As at Hill AFB, Utah, where they are developing 5G dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities between airborne radar systems and 5G cellular systems in the 3,100-3,450 MHz band.

ARLINGTON, VA (November 17, 2020) — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Mitchell Forum short paper series, "The Coming 5G Evolution in Network Centric Warfare: The Sensor Saturation Theory” by Lt Col Anthony Tingle, United States Army retired. Lt Col Tingle was formerly the Concepts Evaluation Branch Chief at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. He holds a PhD in public policy from George Mason University, an M.Eng and an MBA from the University of Colorado, and a BS in systems engineering from West Point. He writes on research, development, and the application of technology within the Department of Defense.

5G technology will transform intelligence collection and provide a new perspective on battlespace data. This paper explains how the thousands of miniature interconnected sensors in the architecture could provide new fidelity on the battlespace. Sensor saturation could provide a counterintuitive solution to the problem of wasted intelligence data collection. Through saturation, the network is strengthened. Although each individual sensor is devalued, the metadata becomes more valuable than the actual data. With these emerging technologies, analysts can approach data holistically, reducing their reliance on slower traditional intelligence gathering. The Forum presents innovative concepts and thought-provoking insight from aerospace experts here in the United States and across the globe. To afford publishing opportunities for thoughtful perspectives, the Forum provides high visibility to writing efforts spanning issues from technology and operational concepts to defense policy and strategy. For media inquiries, email our publications team at Copies of Forum Papers can be downloaded at

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