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ECE Team Awarded DOD DURIP Grant

April 3, 2019

ECE Professor Tommaso Melodia and co-PIs Associate Professors Kaushik Chowdhury, Stefano Basagni, and Assistant Professor Jose Angel Martinez-Lorenzo were awarded a $295K grant by the Office of Naval Research for their proposal on "PROTECT: A Millimeter-wave Programmable Radio platfOrm and Tactical wirelEss Communication Testbed" as part of DOD's Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP).


5G networks will provide 1000 times higher data rate that today's networks, less than 1ms latency, and will support billions of upcoming Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Among others,  millimeter wave (mmWave) communications will offer unprecedented spectrum and multi-Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) data rates to IoT devices. However, there are numerous challenges to building a complete mmWave communications prototype. The equipment in this proposal addresses these challenges, and provides a visible team of faculty engaged in DoD research with a complete prototyping solution to enable research spanning from theoretical mmWave physical-layer schemes to practical, real-world performance evaluation of the proposed communication systems in mesh networked systems.  The programmable mmWave 60-GHz testbed will consist of 2 fully programmable National Instrument SDR Transceiver Systems, each  equipped with a phased array comprised of 12 antenna elements. The testbed  will provide (i) modular hardware and software architectures enabling rapid prototyping of user-defined designs; (ii) high-performance computational capacity to support real-time data processing required by the mmWave communication protocols; (iii) capability to generate high quality and high power RF signals with an IF stage that is fundamental for channel sounding and communications prototyping; (iv) flexible system design that can scale from a unidirectional SISO system to a bidirectional MIMO system capable of transmitting and receiving in parallel to realize a full 2-channel bi-directional communication link.