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2008 Symposium

2008 Virginia Tech Symposium on Wireless Personal Communications June 4-6, 2007

The Wireless@VT 2008 Symposium & Wireless Summer School was held June 4-6 at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Attendees included representatives from Tyco Electronics, Harris Corporation, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, United States Naval Academy, Thales Communications, Inc., OpenSDR, Syracuse Research Corporation, Qualcomm, Universitaet Karlsruhe, US Army CERDEC, EFJohnson, The University of Aukland, PFC Associates, Motorola, Strathclyde University, Lockheed Martin, Georgia Tech, INATEL, US Army SED/S&TCO Matrix, ITT Communication Systems, L-3 Services, Inc., Element CXI, BAE Systems, DRS Technologies, EG & G Tech Services, Inc., Associates in Communications Engineering Research, Rockwell Collins, Inc., Naval Postgraduate School, Qualcomm Flarion Technologies, Goodrich, ITSFAC, L-3 Communications Nova Engineering, TechTransfer Associates, Laboratory for Telecommunications Services, The MITRE Corporation, Utah State University, Digital Receiver Technology, Cognitive Radio Technologies, LLC, Department of Defense, SAIC, University of Texas-Austin, DRS Technologies, American Systems, GE GRC, Intel, Space/Naval Warfare Systems Center, ITT Industries, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Alltel Communications, and Michigan Technological University.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Joseph Mitola, III, of The MITRE Corporation, who spoke on “The Future of Cognitive Radio.” and Dr. Rajiv Laroia, Senior VP of Technology, Qualcomm, Inc., delivered the keynote on “Lessons Unlearned in Wireless.”

This year’s summer school offered 12 tutorials in key areas of wireless communications and networks. Dr. James Neel and Dr. Jeffrey Reed helped us tell the difference between WiBro and Wibree, as well as a host of other wireless standards that have emerged over the past few years. Cognitive radios and networks were the topic of several tutorials, given recent interest the topic. Dr. Luiz DaSilva and Dr. Allen MacKenzie provided an overview of the state of the art in cognitive radios and cognitive networks; Dr. V.S. Anil Kumar and Dr. Madhav V. Marathe discussed “Wireless Social Networks: It Takes Two to Tango”; and Dr. Shubha Kadambe focused on the important issue of signal detection and classification. In a related area, Software Defined Radio was the topic of two tutorials: Philip Balister told us about open-source SDRs and Dr. Frank Kragh and Dr. Carl Dietrich provided us with some hands-on experience on SCA-based SDRs. Tutorials were also offered in areas as diverse as wireless positioning systems, simulation of wireless systems, and intellectual property in the wireless market. These tutorials provided an excellent opportunity for wireless professionals to learn about both the basics of each technology and recent breakthroughs in each area.

A total of eight oral presentations of technical papers in the areas of adaptive and cognitive radios, wireless sensor networks, and OFDM were presented. An expanded poster session including academic and industrial presentations allowed one-on-one technical discussions of recent advances in the field of wireless. Poster sessions were held during all daily refreshment breaks. The poster sessions included 28 posters and 2 demos, which discussed the latest breakthroughs in wireless communications and networks research. The demo presented by S. M. Hasan was titled “A Prototype Multiband/Multimode Radio for Public Safety Application.” Various public safety personnel often cannot readily communicate with one another due to the lack of interoperability in their radios. One of the solutions to this problem is to provide the user with a multi-band multi-mode radio (MMR). This demo presented the design of an experimental prototype multiband radio, which operates in public safety frequency bands from 100 MHz to 1 GHz. In the design a direct conversion CMOS transceiver RFIC developed by Motorola Research Laboratories was used, which covers the frequency range 100 MHz to 2.5 GHz and contains multiple receivers and transmitters. Although direct conversion has some significant advantages over superhet-based design, particularly due to its low power consumption and cost, there is a significant challenge to achieve performance comparable to existing single and dual-band radios. Furthermore, it is difficult to cover all of these bands using the same type of monopole antennas already in common use. This design employs a multiband antenna-transceiver interface consisting of an RF multiplexer which yields acceptable overall performance for operation in public safety frequency bands using a simple monopole antenna. An FPGA is used to implement all the digital signal processing and a small Gumstix computer including a touch screen LCD is used as a user interface. Joseph Gaeddert, et al. demonstrated “CIREN: A Multi-Node, OSSIE-Enabled Cognitive Radio Network with Switched Diversity Reception.” This was a demo of a five-node cognitive radio network using the CIREN waveform that was implemented using the OSSIE core framework and rapid development tools.

We always look forward to the symposium party on Thursday evening. This year we held a student talent competition, followed by a lively game of Trivial Pursuit. Several teams participated, with the “Men in Blue” emerging as the victors. Everyone agreed that the quality of this year’s symposium exceeded that of previous years. We hope to see you again next June!