Experimental Testbed and Software Frameworks Design
While the integration and flexibility of wireless components has been increasing to the point that highly-configurable radio front-ends are available, to date there has been no highly-configurable real-time reference design available for researchers interested in development and prototyping MAC and higher-layer systems in the UHF band, particularly with respect to high-power, high-bandwidth applications.
With that in mind, we present a real-time software-defined radio (SDR) platform for prototyping and measuring the performance of broadband UHF radio networks operating over long distances with point-to-multipoint (PTMP) non-line-of-sight (NLOS) networks. Enabled by the Wideband UHF Radio Card (WURC), a custom high-power and frequency-flexible radio transceiver daughter-card for FPGA-based digital basebands, the 802.11 DCF-like MAC and PHY implementation is completely open source. Off-the-shelf client devices can use this network via 802.11a/g links implemented with the same SDR framework. The multi-carrier channel estimates and real-time MAC statistics of connected nodes in UHF and 2.4 GHz are recorded and displayed in real-time, demonstrating an unprecedented amount of flexibility in unlicensed frequency bands, enabling real-time TV-band cognitive networks and small-cell research deployments.
R. Guerra, N. Anand, E. Knightly, An Open Development Platform for Long-Range TV White Space Hotspots, Demo, Rice ECE Affiliates Conference. April 2015