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Student engineering team to compete in Smart Radio Challenge


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 13, 2009 – For the third year, Virginia Tech's team has been selected to compete in The Software Defined Radio (SDR) Forum's Smart Radio Challenge.

For the 2009 competition, Wireless@VT’s two-time award-winning Center for Wireless Telecommunications team will collaborate with the University of California at Irvine. The team will design a cooperative sensing system that creates and maintains a database of public safety radio nodes, tracking node location, waveform physical layer characteristics, and public safety team associated with the node. The competition will take place December 2009, in Arlington, Va., at the annual SDR Forum Technical Conference.

In 2007, the team won the grand challenge prize by demonstrating an original Smart Radio System (SRS) design that automatically finds available spectrum within a pre-defined band, rendezvous with the intended receiver, and transmits data over that band with a pre-determined Quality of Service (QoS), in urban conditions. Several 2007 student team members counted their research and design hours toward independent study (IS) credits. The IS credits satisfied a portion of technical design elective requirements for undergraduates.

The Center for Wireless Telecommunications team won the 2008 prize for its problem one entry, “Communications from an Infrastructure Damaged Area.” The team successfully developed a smart radio system that can automatically create an ad-hoc extension to an existing communications network. The extension enables voice communications to be relayed between the incident site and existing communications systems along a path such as a subway tunnel where signals can travel only short distances.

The 2007 and 2008 teams were captained by Ph.D. student Mark Silvius and advised by Alumni Distinguished Professor Charles Bostian of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The 2009 team again plans to leverage experience gained from its current research projects sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Both sponsored projects involve designing and implementing cognitive radios for a variety of applications, including public safety and emergency response.

The Virginia Tech team captain for 2009 is Ph.D. student Alex Young of Blacksburg. Members are undergraduate student Nicholas Kaminski of Warrenton, Va.; masters students Terry Brisebois, Aravind Radhakrishnan, Rohit Rangnekar, all of Blacksburg; doctoral students Qinqin Chen, Feng Ge, Jeanette Nounagnon, Ying Wang, all of Blacksburg, and Gyu Hyun Kwon of Yesan, South Korea, and senior graduate advisor Mark Silvius of Blacksburg. This year they are joined by University of California at Irvine (UCI) student co-captain Hamid Eslami, advised by assistant professor Ahmed Eltawil. Bostian will again advise the Virginia Tech team.

Written by Judy Hood.