$ 25 million SpectrumX program studies radio waves // the Observer


Spectrum refers to the radio frequencies on which wireless signals travel, and humans use these frequencies in all aspects of their daily lives: sending a text message, watching TV, or using GPS in a car. The radio frequency spectrum is a vital resource in high demand, and Notre Dame is a leading university in the new SpectrumX research program.

Professors and students from the Wireless Institute lab discuss the design of a radio receiver. Left to right: Prof. Bertrand Hochwald, undergraduate researcher Nathan Jensen from BYU, graduate student Xiwen Kang, Prof. Jonathan Chisum and undergraduate researcher John Morris from Purdue.

According to spectrum.org, SpectrumX was launched with a five-year, $ 25 million grant from the US National Science Foundation, and the program is made up of 41 researchers and staff from 27 universities. The official launch date for the program is October 1.

Notre Dame Electrical Engineering Professor Nicholas Laneman is Director of SpectrumX and Co-Director of Wireless Institute at the College of Engineers.

Laneman stressed the importance of studying the spectrum, as the radio spectrum is used for many different applications, including communication, such as cellular systems and Wi-Fi, scientific uses, such as weather forecasting, radio astronomy. and earth sciences, as well as for military and public safety purposes.

“There are a lot of different devices that use spectrum and compete for spectrum. We are starting to have more and more struggles to meet these demands, ”Laneman said.

Many different applications depend on the natural resource that is spectrum, so the goal of SpectrumX is “develop new policies and technologies for better organization, better management and more efficient use of spectrum, ”said Xiwen Kang, Ph.D. student in the Wireless institute.

Kang explained that he is interested in his work with SpectrumX because of its impact on daily life.

“I am interested in the study and research of wireless communication because this work is not only intellectually difficult, but it has an impact on our lives,” said Kang. “The advancement of wireless technology in the commercial industry as well as in the defense industry has changed our daily lives in a very remarkable way. “

“We have a national and global competitiveness challenge because we are fragmented in the way we manage spectrum and in the way these different applications compete for spectrum. We must unite as a nation to be competitive globally. By working together, between the defense sector and the commercial sector, we have new opportunities to improve connectivity, improve learning and provide more equity within our community, ”said Laneman.

SpectrumX is characterized as “a multitude of relationships between industry, government and academia ”which brings together experts from many different disciplines, including engineers, computer scientists, economists and political scientists, according to its website.

The ultimate goal of SpectrumX is to transform the way the radio spectrum is managed to make it more accessible while educating students, raising awareness and ensuring the success of the program in the future. Not only will SpectrumX focus on cross-industry collaboration, Laneman said the program will also be “conduct interdisciplinary research and educate students [through] developing curricula to prepare the next generation of the workforce to tackle some of these difficult issues.

Keywords: engineering, grant, Nicholas Laneman, radio waves, research, SpectrumX, Wireless Institute


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