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Study Aims to Boost Wireless Channel Management, Performance

Dimitris Pados

Dimitris Pados (University at Buffalo)

5 May 2014. Researchers from University at Buffalo and the engineering company Andro Computational Solutions in Rome, New York are analyzing a scheme to make better use of the wireless radio spectrum and boost performance for the burgeoning number of devices with wireless connections. The four-year, $2.72 million project is funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

The rapidly growing number of wireless devices for personal, commercial, industrial, medical, public safety, and agricultural uses is causing increasing congestion on wireless networks, slowing performance, and sometimes crashing those networks. The Buffalo-Andro study is investigating a technology known as cognitive radio that aims to find underused channels on the wireless spectrum and change properties of transmissions to meet requirements of the free channels and shift traffic when necessary.

In many parts of the U.S., for example, AM radio gets much less use than FM radio, with spare capacity for long periods of time. Being able to shift traffic to underused wireless bands would make it possible to accommodate the growing number of devices and the traffic they generate within the current overall radio spectrum.

Engineers at Buffalo, led by electrical engineering professor Dimitris Pados, plan to develop algorithms that model, simulate, and optimize the performance of wireless networks. “The system we’re developing eliminates those inefficiencies,” says Pados in university statement, “allowing the transfer of as much information as possible while minimizing cross-interference.”

Andro Computational Solutions conducts computer modeling and simulation for radio spectrum management, designed for commercial and military customers. In this project, Andro is expected to test the algorithms with a fleet of small unmanned aerial vehicles.

The company is developing a technology for wireless spectrum management that makes better use of electromagnetic transmission variables, such as time, frequency, and geographic space. Andro says its current E3Expert software package can be applied to spectrum management, including for air traffic control.

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