January 2015 - April 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 first email version of Radio Waves, a joint newsletter published quarterly by Wireless @ Virginia Tech, and the BWAC Virginia Tech site!

In this Special 25th Anniversary Wireless Symposium & Summer School, we will focus our theme on Then, Now and the Future of Wireless Technology. We have posted the agenda, complete with keynote speakers, biographies and tutorial information on the Agenda Page. We have also listed the titles and authors of the Invited Posters which will be featured during a Highlighted Poster Session on Wednesday, May 27 at 10 a.m. on our Agenda Page.

There will be a panel session after the Highlighted Poster Session on the Future of Wireless with guest panelists Dr. Robert Heath, Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, Dr. John Treichler, President, Raytheon Applied Signal Technology and Dr. Jeff Andrews, Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Jeff Reed, Willis G. Worcester Professor of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech will serve as the moderator. We only cover the highlights in this special edition newsletter, so follow the links for more complete details.

Plan to attend the Welcome Reception/Open House/Vintage Equipment Exhibition on Wednesday, May 27, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. The beer and pizza are on us!

Special Note: Our special invited guests Dr. Thomas Kailath will not be able to attend as announced.

Be sure to attend Dr. Jeffrey Reed's Demo on "New Dynamic Spectrum Access System for Next Generation Public Safety Radios"

Virginia Tech Wireless Symposium Students' Posters Have Now Been Posted!

You will find the News section below our Symposium Highlights!

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Keynote Speaker, Dr. A. Paulraj

Dr. Paulraj will be our first Keynote Speaker on Wednesday, May 27. In keeping with our theme this year of Then, Now and Future of Wireless, Dr. Paulraj will present the history of wireless. Please note that Dr. Ted Rappaport, the founder of MPRG which became Wireless @ Virginia Tech, was scheduled to deliver this address. Dr. Rappaport will not be able to attend the symposium this year due to unforeseen circumstances. We wish to thank Dr. Paulraj for agreeing to deliver this address for Dr. Rappaport.

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Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jeff Andrews

Dr. Jeffrey Andrews, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, will deliver the second keynote address of the day. Dr. Andrews will continue the theme of Then, Now and Future, by delivering his keynote address on the Future of Wireless. Following Dr. Andrews address, there will be a break, and a new, special Highlighted Invited Poster Session.

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Keynote Speaker, Dr. Preston Marshall

Dr. Preston Marshall is the keynote speaker on Thursday, May 28. The title of Dr. Marshall's keynote is "Momentum Beyond 3.5 GHz: Shared Bands, New Spectrum Opportunities, and the Democratization of LTE". Following Dr. Marshall's address we will have a demo on "Developing a Dynamic Spectrum Access System for Next Generation Public Safety Radios" by Dr. Jeff Reed, and his students. After the lunch break, Dr. Marshall will participate in a panel session with Dr. Reed, Dave Gurney of Motorola, and Milind Buddhikkot, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs on "How To Make Money with Spectrum Sharing".

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Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Treichler

Dr. John Treichler, President of Raytheon Applied Signal Technology Business Division, is serving as our Friday morning keynote speaker. Dr. Treichler will also be a panelist on the Wednesday, May 27 panel session on the Future of Wireless. The title of Dr. Treichler's presentation is "Four Ways of Going Out of Business --- All Performed by the Same Small Company". This talk examines the ups and downs of a small company which, almost miraculously, stayed in business and even grew significantly over a period of thirty years -- an interval long enough to explore a number of ways to enter and then barely escape financial peril. The audience can save itself two years in business school by coming to this 50-minute presentation.

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Tutorials, Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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Tutorial 1A:


Tutorial 1B:


Tutorial 1C:


Introduction to Radio Direction Finding Methodologies

Presented by Paul Denisowski, Rohde & Schwarz

Radio direction finding (or radiolocation) is used in a wide variety of both civilian as well as government and military applications. The specific direction finding methodologies to be covered are as follows:

  • Manual
  • Doppler
  • Watson-Watt
  • Time difference of arrival (TDOA)
  • Angle of arrival
  • Correlative interferometry

Read more about Rohde & Schwarz


Small Antennas: Theoretical Basis and Practical Techniques

Presented by Dr. Majid Manteghi, Virginia Tech

Although a 70-meter diameter parabolic radio telescope looks much more impressive than a one-twentieth wavelength small antenna for implanted applications, the theory involved with a small antenna might be much more challenging than the required electromagnetics knowledge for designing a radio telescope. This presentation will give a brief theoretical background on small antennas and also will cover some of the basic techniques to design and use small antennas.

Read more about Dr. Manteghi


A Tutorial on Compliance: Regulatory Requirements for Wireless Systems

Presented by Mike Violette, Washington Labs

Every year, twenty thousand radio devices are approved for sale in the United States under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) equipment authorization system. This tutorial will provide an overview of the FCC’s Rules and Regulations governing radio device operation in the United States with specific focus on the following: Regulatory Overview, Licensed and Unlicensed Operation, Structure of FCC Rules, Technical Requirements, Frequency, Power, Occupied Bandwidth, RF Exposure and more.

Read more about Washington Labs


Tutorials, Thursday Morning, May 28, 2015

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Tutorial 2A:


Tutorial 2B:


Tutorial 2C:


SDR Architecture and RF Network-on-Chip

Presented by Ettus Research

RFNoC is a new architecture for Ettus Research third generation USRP devices that aims to make FPGA acceleration in SDR more easily accessible. RFNoC implements a packetized network infrastructure in the USRP’s FPGA that handles the transport of control and sample data between the GPP and radio. Users implement their custom algorithms in FPGA based processing blocks, or Computation Engines (CEs), that attach to this network. We will present an in- depth tutorial on RFNoC including a discussion on its design and capabilities, demos of several existing examples, instructions on implementing CEs in RFNoC, and finally integrating those CEs into GNU Radio.

Read more about Ettus Research


Securing Your Wireless Devices: Fundamental Principles and Enabling Technologies

Presented by Dr. Jerry Park and Vireshwar Kumar, Ph.D. candidate, Virginia Tech

This tutorial provides an overview of the fundamental security principles, mechanisms, and threats relevant to wireless networks. The tutorial will include discussions on important cryptosystems and protocols; IEEE 802.11i; security in cellular networks; and security issues in cognitive radio networks and dynamic spectrum sharing.

Read more about Dr. Park

Read more about Vireshwar Kumar


Game Theory for Emerging Communication Networks: Challenges and Opportunities

Presented by Dr. Walid Saad, Virginia Tech

This tutorial will focus on the confluence of seemingly disparate disciplines: game theory, economics, learning, and networking; while presenting the state of the art in this interdisciplinary area. In particular, this tutorial will provide a comprehensive introduction to game theory in its two branches: non-cooperative and cooperative games, as it applies to the design of future networks. We will also discuss new emerging types of games such as matching theory.

Read more about Dr. Saad


Tutorials, Thursday Afternoon, May 28, 2015

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Tutorial 3A:


Tutorial 3B:


Tutorial 3C:


 Road Towards 5G Broadband: An Overview of LTE, LTE-Advanced and Heterogeneous Wireless Network Technologies

Presented by Dr. Ismail Guvenc, Florida International University

With the recent worldwide activity on the 5G wireless systems, it becomes more important than ever for wireless engineers and researchers to understand the basic building blocks of 4G wireless technologies, in order to better develop the next generation wireless networks. This tutorial aims to provide a basic background on the fundamentals of 4G and 5G wireless systems in two separate parts.

Read more about Dr. Guvenc


Working with Open Source Software for Wireless System Development

Presented by Tom Rondeau and Philip Balister, GNURadio

Software development in areas as wide ranging as low-level systems programming, embedded systems development, baseband processing, research and development, and all the way up to mobile apps development are increasingly relying on and using free and open source software  (FOSS). With all of its appeal, many traditional software development shops are unfamiliar with the power and capabilities as well as the availability and breadth of the FOSS world. In this tutorial, a panel of experts in wireless communications and open source software will present topics to address many of the questions surrounding the use and inclusion of free software in development models.

Read more about GNURadio


Centralized Radio Access Networks: Moving Baseband to the Cloud

Presented by Dr. Matthew Valenti, West Virginia University

The consequence of the current trend towards densification is an explosion in the number of deployed cellular base stations and pico cells. While economies of scale will drive down equipment prices to some degree, future networks will make increasing use of advanced signal processing algorithms with costly computational requirements.

This tutorial provides an overview of the state in the art of C-RAN, considers the economic and technical feasibility of such architectures, and explores future research directions in this topic. It begins with an overview of the C-RAN system architecture, which is illustrated by a simple case study involving the central processing of the LTE uplink.

Read more on Dr. Valenti


Tutorials, Friday Morning, May 29, 2015

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Tutorial 4A:


Tutorial 4B:


Tutorial 4C:


Wireless Forever: Engineering the Radios That Never Plug In

Presented by Dr. Greg Durgin, Georgia Tech

This tutorial surveys the state-of-the art in RFID, energy-harvesting sensors, and devices for the Internet of Things. Everything you know about wireless communications will be challenged, as we discuss ultra-low energy RF devices, bizarre forms of modulation, ``smart’’ antennas that do not require power, and undulating waveforms that extend the physical limits of RF energy-harvesting.

Read more about Dr. Durgin


Ins and Outs of Channelization

Presented by Dr. fred harris, San Diego State University

This tutorial will include material that motivates the use of multirate signal processing and illustrate the unique capabilities of their application. The presentation will be light on mathematics and will emphasize understanding and intuition of the material. We will include many MATLAB demonstrations to illustrate concepts and capabilities. Participants will be guided through the gamut of traditional channel structures through the sequence of design options that convert the standard channelizers into truly remarkable and capable versions.

Read more about Dr. harris


An Introduction to SDR Development with REDHAWK

Presented by Dr. Carl Dietrich, Virginia Tech

This session will provide an introduction to the REDHAWK SDR framework and toolset. Topics will include SDR in general, the SCA, and the hardware and software involved with SDR. Participants will put together a waveform using prebuilt components that come with REDHAWK, along with designing and creating a component of their own. 

Read more about Dr. Dietrich


Lunch Time Speakers:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015, Lunch Time Speaker: Dr. Timothy Pratt, Subject: Satellite Communications: A Brief History

Thursday, May 28, 2015, Lunch Time Speaker: Dr. Brian Woerner, Subject: Wireless at VT and Beyond:  Perspectives on the Past and the Future

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Wireless @ Virginia Tech announces a new Spectrum Sharing Radio Contest (Spectrum-ShaRC) for students

Dr. Jeffrey Reed addressed the FCC workshop on the Model City, a city-wide test bed that is being planned to demonstrate new concepts in spectrum access. He has been invited to present at the Future of Instrumentation and Internet Workshop 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. His presentation is titled "Cognitive Radio and Shared Spectrum: Implications for Instrumentation". Dr. Reed has also published a new paper in the Proceeding of the IEEE Special Issue on Reconfigurable Systems, March 2015 titled "Software Frameworks for SDR". This paper describes REDHAWK, the software radio framework that was based on OSSIE and has become a standard for many government projects. Dr. Jeffrey Reed has also been appointed to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration's Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC)

Dr. Harpreet Dhillon received the IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award

Dr. Walid Saad receives the IEEE Communications Magazine Fred W. Ellersick Prize

Drs. Dietrich, Marojevic, and Buehrer Receive NSF Grant for Authentic STEM Learning

More about the NSF Grant:

This is a two- year $626,000 grant to help prepare the next generation of engineering students to work in the field of wireless communications. Students from across the country will be able to access tutorials through the new WCT Website, which is making its grand debut today!

We have posted an initial set of tutorials for use in courses such as Virginia Tech’s ECE 3614, Introduction to Communications Systems. The tutorials use the popular open source GNU Radio software and were developed by Freddie Romano with support from Virginia Tech’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and guidance from Dr. Carl Dietrich. These tutorials and the accompanying GNU Radio flowgraphs can be installed and run on the CORNET testbed nodes or can be run on users’ own computers whether the users already have GNU Radio installed, or wish to run it within a virtual machine or from a bootable image. The tutorials in this initial set currently don’t require over-the-air signals or the USRP RF front ends used in CORNET, although some of the tutorials include an option to use low-cost SDR receivers such as those available at http://www.nooelec.com/store/ .

Dr. Walid Saad Develops New Introductory Course

New Weekly Seminar Series Now on YouTube.


Dr. Jerry Park, Virginia Tech BWAC Site Director, and Dr. Marwan Kruntz, University of Arizona Co-Director, receive NSF Award to study the Coexistence of Heterogeneous Secondary Networks

Dr. Jerry Park Awarded Grant for LTE-enhanced Cognitive Radio Testbed.

Dr. Jerry Park Gives Opening Address at the 2014 International Workshop on TV White Space

Dr. Jerry Park Interviewed on WFIR Radio. Listen Here!



For more information, please visit our website.

Next newsletter will be published in August!

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Wireless @ Virginia Tech
BWAC Research Center
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Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

  Joyce Donathan
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Phone: 540-231-2944

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