NTIA Partners with CU Boulder for Wireless Test Bed
Monday, April 16, 2018 | Comments

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced a five-year cooperative research and development (R&D) agreement with the University of Colorado Boulder to develop a wireless test bed. NTIA’s Boulder-based Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) will work with the university to install spectrum-monitoring sensors throughout the CU Boulder campus, with data to be available to both parties for spectrum management research.

The project will enable measurement of wireless spectrum and system occupancy and spectrum use, testing and evaluation of spectrum-sharing scenarios, and validation of radio wave propagation models. The program also will help to develop early interference detection, interference mitigation and spectrum forensics techniques.

“We’re excited that ITS is moving forward with this important test bed research that will provide analytics on how real-world spectrum sharing could work,” said David Redl, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and NTIA administrator. “The scientists and engineers working at ITS are experts in the field of spectrum measurement, and we expect the collaboration with CU to lead to new opportunities for government users to share spectrum with other agencies and commercial users.”

Access to this wireless facility will allow researchers to efficiently explore new technology and investigate spectrum properties over a city-scale area under real-world conditions, providing significant benefits to government, academia and industry. When it is completed, the test bed could be used not only to field test spectrum-monitoring technology but also to offer wireless technology trial and development capabilities. The test bed will also provide a glimpse of what it will take to prototype and build a nationwide spectrum-monitoring network.

“This will be a great motivator for students who use wireless devices on a daily basis but have little understanding of the underlying physical limitations associated with wireless technology,” said Peter Mathys, associate professor in electrical, computer and energy engineering, CU. “This test bed will enable measurement of the effects associated with the ever-growing demand for increased wireless communications.”

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