Science Foundation Announces Research Platforms for Salt Lake City and NYC


The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced yesterday what they are calling “an important milestone in its Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) effort.” In collaboration with an industry consortium of 28 networking companies and associations, NSF is supporting the development and deployment of the first two PAWR research platforms, based in Salt Lake City and New York City. These platforms will power research motivated by real-world challenges on experimental, next generation wireless testbeds at the scale of cities and communities. The goal is to advance the state of the art for wireless technology beyond today’s 4G, LTE and emerging 5G capabilities.

“The platforms announced [yesterday] will enable cutting-edge research in living laboratories across the country, which is a new and important milestone for advancing wireless capabilities,” said Jim Kurose, head of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate at NSF.

Benefits from this research may include:

  • Enabling first responders and surgeons to share real-time data during emergencies.
  • Training entry-level workers via immersive, virtual reality systems.
  • Providing seamless communication between vehicles and roadway infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion.

Below are descriptions for the two research platforms announced, along with the participating institutions.

POWDER-RENEW: A Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research with Massive MIMO Capabilities, at University of Utah and Rice University.

POWDER-RENEW, a collaboration with municipal and state leadership from Salt Lake City and Utah, will create an advanced wireless research platform that will cover 2.3 square miles of the University of Utah campus, 1.2 square miles of downtown Salt Lake City and a two-mile corridor in between, reaching a potential population of 40,000 people. While it will enable wireless research across many technical areas, the research platform will offer unique and specialized capabilities for dynamic spectrum sharing and advanced wireless antenna technologies.

COSMOS: Cloud Enhanced Open Software Defined Mobile Wireless Testbed for City-Scale Deployment, at Rutgers University, Columbia University, and New York University.

COSMOS is partnering with New York City, Silicon Harlem, City College of New York, University of Arizona and IBM, to bring this advanced wireless test bed to life in New York City. The test bed will cover one square mile in a vibrant, densely-populated neighborhood in West Harlem. The technical focus of the COSMOS platform is on ultra-high-bandwidth and low-latency wireless communications, with tightly coupled edge computing, a type of cloud computing enabling data processing at the edge of the network. COSMOS will pursue millimeter-wave radio communications and dynamic optical switching technologies. This new wireless research platform will allow for experimentation at a scale that could not be achieved previously, thereby enabling new services and applications to benefit the entire community.

April 10, 2018

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