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NSF PAWR Project Office Awards First Round of Funding

April 9, 2018

NSF PAWR Project Office Awards First Round of Funding for Groundbreaking Community-scale Wireless Experimental Platforms

Northeastern’s College of Engineering research team, led by Tommaso Melodia, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), together with U.S. Ignite, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was selected to direct a National Science Foundation initiative: Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research. The PAWR Project Office, or PPO, is responsible for managing $100 million in investments from the federal government and an industry consortium, and is supported through a $6.1 million NSF-funded award.

The goal of PAWR is to foster fundamental research and development of multiple community-scale platforms supporting next-generation wireless communications networks across the U.S. Northeastern’s PPO is a team effort: Melodia, as co-director of research, oversees the overall PAWR technical direction, platform architectures, and alignment with the PAWR vision, including research allocation on the platforms as well as the evolution of platform research focus over time. Northeastern researcher Kaushik Chowdhury, associate professor of ECE, takes on a leading role as director of academic outreach, providing guidance, and outreach to academic wireless researchers nationwide to solicit feedback on platform design, oversees the development of technical capabilities and integrates the needs of research into PPO operations. ECE Associate Professor Stefano Basagni is responsible for platform implementation. ECE Professor Edmund Yeh and Guevara Noubir, professor of computer and information science and ECE affiliated faculty, contribute their academic expertise in communication theory and network security, respectively. Finally, Abhimanyu Gosain, who was hired in the College of Engineering from BBN/Raytheon, performs the role of PAWR technical program director and interfaces with the members of the industry consortium. Academic coordinator Fiona Morgan, also within ECE, supports the team through program management and logistical planning.

On April 9, 2018, the National Science Foundation announced the first two PAWR research platforms selected by the PAWR Project Office, based in Salt Lake City and New York City, which will be supported by the NSF and the industry consortium of more than 28 networking companies and associations. These awarded platforms will power research motivated by real-world challenges on experimental, next-generation wireless test beds at the scale of cities and communities. Their goal is to advance the state of the art for wireless technology in the areas of millimeter wave communication, massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna equipped software defined radios, IoT, and next generation cellular access.

View the full National Science Foundation announcement.