Cognitive Antennas and Testbed for the SDR Research Community

Kapil Dandekar
Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University
Drexel Wireless Systems Laboratory (DWSL), Drexel University College of Engineering
Wachman 447
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 11:00
The Drexel Wireless Systems Laboratory (DWSL, seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of next generation wireless systems through the design, construction, and testing of prototype wireless hardware. Cognitive radio builds upon the flexibility in physical layer algorithm implementation delivered by Software Defined Radio (SDR) to include assessment of, and adaptation to, the surrounding radio environment. In this presentation, we summarize our research in electrically reconfigurable antennas and demonstrate how these antennas can provide a valuable degree of freedom to cognitive radios (i.e., "cognitive antennas"). Cognitive antennas have the ability to dynamically change their radiation characteristics in response to the needs (broadly defined) of the overlying link and network. We investigate a variety of architectures for cognitive antennas and quantify how they can improve communication links through pattern diversity. We will present several case studies of how these antennas can be used in current and emerging communication networks with algorithms geared towards throughput maximization, interference suppression, interference alignment, encryption key generation, and user authentication. Measurement results are also included to support these concepts and motivate the release of a new Software Defined Communication (SDC) testbed developed by DWSL.