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October - December , 2015


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Radio Waves

A Wireless @ Virginia Tech and Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center (BWAC) Publication

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Welcome to our most recent email version of Radio Waves, a joint newsletter published quarterly by Wireless @ Virginia Tech, and the BWAC Virginia Tech site!

In this edition of Wireless:

Wireless @ Virginia Tech Organizes a New Spectrum-ShaRC Student Cognitive Radio Contest!

Top prize is $5,000. Deadline to enter is October 15. This contest is sponsored in part by Motorola Solutions Foundation and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Entry forms are available at the contest website. For more information, you can also contract Dr. Carl Dietrich.



Dr. Carl Dietrich Receives $627,000 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Grant for Hands-on Learning for Novel Solutions to Radio Spectrum Problems

The new spectrum sharing paradigm requires development of new technologies and will require new skill sets among wireless communications engineers. This project will develop resources for hands-on education of students and mid-career professionals to equip them with knowledge and skills that will enable future innovations. Read more



Dr. Dietrich

Wireless @ Virginia Tech Faculty awarded $626,000 NSF Grant to improve communications engineering education

The Wireless Communications Testbeds for Authentic STEM Learning (WCT) project will help prepare the next generation of engineering students to work in the field of wireless communications.  The goal of the work is to reinforce fundamental communication engineering concepts through hands-on interactive sessions in which students use their knowledge to operate real radios in challenging environments that are generated in the Internet-accessible, FCC-licensed Cognitive Radio and Network Testbed (CORNET). For more information please visit the WCT website.



Dr. Harpreet Dhillon Receives IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award. The title of his paper is "Modeling and Analysis of K-Tier Downlink Heterogeneous Cellular Networks". This award is given to the best paper published by an author under 30 years of age in one of ComSoc’s transactions or journals in the previous three calendar years.




Dr. Walid Saad Receives Young Investigator Award. Dr. Walid Saad was awarded the Young Investigator's Award by the Office of Naval Research. The Young Investigator Program is designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists both as researchers and instructors.





Dr. Saad

Dr. Walid Saad Receives the Fred W. Ellersick Prize. Dr. Walid Saad received the Fred W. Ellersick Prize for his paper "When Cellular meets WiFi in Wireless Small Cell Networks". The Fred W. Ellersick Prize is awarded annually, and awarded to an original paper that has been published in any of the Communication Society's magazines over the previous 3 years.





Dr. Saad

Dr. Walid Saad and student Yaman Sharaf-Dabbagh Win Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Symposium






Dr. Saad Dr. Walid Saad Receives New Major NSF Collaborative Grant. The grant is titled “CRISP Type 2: Collaborative Research: Towards Resilient Smart Cities” totaling $2.5M. This is a collaborative research involving faculties from VT (lead institution), Rutgers, and Florida International Univ. VT’s portion of the project is $1.1M and involves faculty from ECE (Saad), Economics (Sheryl Ball), CS (Danfeng Yao), VTTI (Myra Blanco). The goal of the project is to develop an interdisciplinary framework that ties together techniques from networks, operations research, machine learning, power systems, and psychology to develop resilient processes that can control and optimally manage the resources (energy, spectrum, personnel, economic investments) of the critical infrastructure (smart grid, wireless network, transportation network, water network, etc) that form a smart city, in the face of failures and malicious attacks. Read more about it here.



Dr. Walid Saad Recieves New Global City Teams Challenge NIST Grant. Dr. Walid Saad has received a new $150,000 NSF grant under the auspices of the NIST Global City Teams Challenge. The title of the proposal is, "Fingerprinting for Internet of Things Authentication: Accelerating IoT Research and Education Under the Global City Teams Challenge", with Dr. Sanjay Raman from NCR as co-PI. The goal of the project is to develop data-driven security solutions for the Internet of Things while also engaging high schools in the state of Virginia via a STEM collaboration with the IoT-DC consortium and Arlington County. Read about the Global City NIST Grant here.




Upcoming! The Wireless Symposium & Summer School is scheduled for May 25 - 27, 2016. Stay tuned for the Call for Tutorials coming up in October, 2015!

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Dr. Jeff Reed, Dr. Vuk Marojevic and Ph.D. Student Mina Labib Granted Provisional New Patent

Mitigation Methods to Protect the LTE Systems against LTE Control Channel Spoofing.

Critical modifications to the 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution)/ 3GPP LTE advanced specifications are proposed to mitigate the effect of LTE control channel spoofing. The effect of LTE control channel spoofing has been analyzed and tested. The test results show that an attacker can prevent new UEs from camping on any certain LTE cell. Thus we have proposed certain modifications that are necessary to invulnerable the LTE systems against these types of attacks. Read more:

Dr. Charles Clancy Appointed to 4 Year Term on the AFCEA


Charles Clancy, the director of the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology and Wireless @ Virginia Tech faculty member, has been appointed to a four-year term as a member of the Intelligence Committee of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

Read more

Our Students in Action!


Eric Sollenberger presented a short paper at the IEEE VTC-Fall in Boston on September 7: “Test & Evaluation of Cognitive and Dynamic Spectrum Access Radios using The Cognitive Radio Test System,” IEEE VTC-Fall, Boston, MA, September 6-9, 2015.





SaiDhiraj Amuru recently published a journal paper titled “Optimal jamming against digital modulation". This paper shows that a) the jammer must not always match its signal to the victim's signaling scheme and b) AWGN is not always the optimal jamming signaling scheme against digital amplitude-phase modulated constellations.




Padaki Aditya V. Padaki has received a $500 student travel grant from the National Science Foundation to present his paper "Efficient Spectrum Sharing with RF Diversity: Adapting to Nonlinearity of Front Ends" at IEEE GLOBECOM 2015. This paper investigates receiver-centric wireless network resource optimization for improving spectrum efficiency in dynamic spectrum access networks. Aditya's advisor is Dr. Jeff Reed.


Mosaffari Mohammad Mosaffari has received a $500 student travel grant from the National Science Foundation to present his paper "Drone Small Cells in the Clouds: Design, Deployment and Performance Analysis". This paper investigates the potential of using drones to provide wireless communication support for areas in which terrestrial networks are unavailable. Mohammad's advisor is Dr. Walid Saad.
Jakubisin Daniel Jakubisin and Dr. Buehrer have developed a new algorithm to address detection of signals in the presence of co-channel interference. The algorithm relies on a factor graph model of the received signal and employs a new approximation to the sum-product algorithm in order to approach joint MAP detection of the desired and interfering signals. As a result of the work, reliable signal detection is enabled in challenging cases such as single antenna reception, multipath channels, and similar signal and interference power levels---cases where other algorithms often fail. The work is to be presented at the upcoming IEEE MILCOM conference and has also been made available here.



*Ph. D. student Omid Semiari has written a paper called "Context-Aware Small Cell Networks: How Social Metrics Improve Wireless Resource Allocation," which will appear in the upcoming IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. A pdf of Omid's research is available here. Omid's advisor is Dr. Walid Saad.

*Ph. D. student Anibal Sanjab has written a paper titled "Smart Grid Data Injection Attacks: To Defend or Not?" that has been accepted the IEEE Smartgridcomm, Miami, FL, USA November 2015. A pdf of Anibal's research can be found here. Anibal's advisor is Dr. Walid Saad.

*Abdelrahman el Dousouky has written a paper titled "Contract-Theoretic Resource Allocation for Critical Infrastructure Protection" that has been accepted at IEEE GLOBECOM, San Diego, CA, December 2015. A pdf of Abdelrahman's research can be found here. Abdelrahman's advisor is Dr. Walid Saad.



Students Who Successfully Defended Their Thesis or Dissertations:

Schloemann Javier Schloemann successfully defended his Ph. D dissertation on August 3, 2015. His dissertation title is "Fundamental Analyses of Collaborative and Noncollaborative Positioning". His dissertation provides a tractable analysis for network localization fundamentals, with a focus on its application to cellular positioning. Javier's advisor is Dr. R. Michael Buehrer, Director of Wireless @ Virginia Tech. The new Dr. Javier Schloemann will be working for Northrop Grumman.


Dr. Javier Schloemann's Successful Ph.D Defense Celebration!

Javier's Defense celebration


Dhiraj SaiDhiraj Amuru successfully defended his Ph. D dissertation on September 21, 2015. His dissertation title is "Intelligent Approaches for Communication Denial". His dissertation provides a fundamental analysis regarding an attackers performance, in terms of achieving communication denial, in practical communication settings. Dhiraj's advisor is Dr. R. Michael Buehrer, Director of Wireless @ Virginia Tech


Dr. SaiDhiraj Amuru's Successful Ph.D Defense Celebration!

Dhiraj's defense



Chris Headley successfully defended his Ph.D. in April, 2015. Chris's advisor is Dr. Jeff Reed. Congratulations, Dr. Headley!





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Avik Sengupta has successfully passed his preliminary exam in April, 2015. Avik's advisor is Dr. Charles Clancy.




Mahi Abdelbar

Mahi Abdelbar has successfully passed her preliminary exam in April, 2015. Mahi's advisors are Dr. William Tranter and Dr. Louis A. Beex.





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Jasmin Mahal has successfully passed her preliminary exam in August, 2015. Jasmin's advisor is Dr. Charles Clancy.






Mo Ghorbanzadeh has successfully passed his preliminary exam. Mo's advisor is Dr. Charles Clancy.






Xiaofu Mao has successfully passed his preliminary exam in September, 2015. Xiaofu's advisors are Dr. Jeff Reed and Dr. Carl Dietrich.






Kevin McDermott has successfully defended his Master's Thesis "On the Improvement of Positioning in LTE with Collaboration and Pressure Sensors"






Radio Waves

Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center (BWAC)

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BWAC @ Virginia Tech Invites Applications for Post-doc and GRA Positions

Mitigation Methods to Protect the LTE Systems against LTE Control Channel Spoofing.

Broadband Wireless Access & Applications Center (BWAC) invites applications for a post-doctoral research associate position.

--Post-doctoral research associate (one position): Applicants should hold a PhD in Electrical/Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or a closely related field. Applicants should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: security and privacy; dynamic spectrum sharing; cognitive radio networks; IoT; and 5G and other next-generation wireless technologies. Plz send your detailed CV as a pdf file to Prof. Jerry Park (

-- Graduate research assistant (PhD student; 2 positions): BWAC is looking to hire ​highly motivated PhD students to ​participate in ongoing research projects on ​dynamic spectrum sharing, cognitive radio networks, and wireless security. Plz send your detailed CV ​as a pdf file ​to Prof. Jerry Park (​


Upcoming BWAC Industrial Affiliates Board Meeting

BWAC's Fall Industrial Affiliates Board Meeting is November 3 - 4, 2015 at the University of Mississippi. Registration is now open at You can also find hotel reservations on this site.

Brief Overview:

Monday, November 2, 2015: Welcome Reception 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (location to be announced)

 Tuesday, November 3, 2015: Full day program with evening dinner at The Inn at Ole Miss Ball Rooms

 Wednesday, November 4, 2015: Half-a-day program, 8 am - 11:30 am at The Inn at Ole Miss Ball Rooms

Read more


BWAC In the News:


Dr. Jerry Park

Dr. Jerry Park Promoted to Professor
Dr. Jung-Min "Jerry" Park was promoted to Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors on June 3. Dr. Park is the Associate Director of Affiliate Relations for Wireless @ Virginia Tech, Site Director for the Virginia Tech BWAC site, and is the founding director of the ARIAS Lab dedicated to security issues in wireless networking and cyber security.




Dr. Jerry Park Jerry Park is the PI of an NSF grant titled "Collaborative research: Dynamic exclusion zones: Balancing incumbent protection and spectrum utilization efficiency" with a total budget of $731K. This is a collaborative research project between Park (lead investigator) and W. Lehr (at MIT). The primary goal of the project is to develop a framework for implementing Incumbent Protection Zones that take advantage of the network of SAS (Spectrum Access System) databases and spectrum sensing data to adjust the geo-contours of exclusion zones dynamically. This will expand opportunities for Secondary Users to co-exist with Incumbent Users without causing harmful interference. This research is intended to provide a practical framework that is both technically and economically viable for implementing incentive-compatible dynamic sharing solutions as part of the SAS framework.



Dr. Jerry Park

Jerry Park is a co-PI of a major NSF grant titled "Advanced materials manufacturing, sensing, and wireless controls for intelligent automobile environments" with a total budget of $1.15M. This project will involve research collaboration between Prof. Park, Prof. S. Taheri (VT's Dept. of Mechanical Engineering), Prof. M.R. Hajj (VT's Dept of Biomedical Engr. and Mechanics), Prof. S. Priya (VT's Dept. of Mechanical Engineering), and Prof. S. Trolier-McKinstry (Penn State Univ.). ​In intelligent vehicles envisioned to be manufactured in the near future, safety-critical components, such as tires and seat belts, play critical roles in the development of intelligent controls as​ they can provide information on the most relevant parameters such as friction, slip, pressure, and driver​ condition​s​. ​ The​ overall goal​ of the project is to actively monitor th​o​se parameters through embedded sensors based​ upon piezoelectrics and dielectrics.​ Park's group will take the lead in the design and implementation of the​ mechanisms and p​rotocols needed to enable reliable, secure, and efficient​ wireless​ transmission of the sensor-collected data.




Dr. Park and Dr. Reed Jeff Reed (PI) and Jerry Park (co-PI) have been awarded a grant by NSF to organize a major workshop on Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS). This EARS Workshop will be held on October 19-20, 2015 in Arlington, VA. At this workshop, an interdisciplinary group of highly-visible academic researchers, relevant government officials, and industry stakeholders will gather to discuss technologies and polices that will enable us to unlock the true potential of the spectrum while respecting the needs of incumbent users. This group will create a vision for future spectrum use,identifying the problems to be overcome, the research needed to overcome these problems, and the financial and human capital resources necessary to support this vision.

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