June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
NSF Grantees Poster Session
23.822.1 - 23.822.12
Introducing Software Defined Radio into Undergraduate Wireless Engineering Curriculum through a Hands-on ApproachA software defined radio (SDR) is a modern radio communication system . Unlike traditionalradios that implement components, such as filters, amplifiers, mixers, detectors, modulators, anddemodulators, in hardware, SDR instead adopts a reconfigurable hardware platform (e.g., withFPGAs) that allows software implementations of these components. As a result, SDR can enablethe coexistence and flexible reconfiguration of various modulation schemes, narrowband orwideband operations, privacy and security mechanisms, and required waveforms of existing andfuture wireless standards over a wide frequency band.SDR has great potential for military and civilian applications, such as battlefield networks,cellular networks, and wireless ad hoc/mesh networks, all of which may adopt heterogeneousand evolving radio protocols in real-time. SDR represents a modern approach to radioengineering and will certainly have considerable impacts in our society . Unfortunately, SDRis still regarded as a highly advanced topic, and is only offered as graduate courses in a fewschools. We believe there is a compelling need to expose our undergraduate students to thisimportant technology. The benefit will be significant and is two-fold:(i) We will train a new generation of wireless engineers with the SDR expertise to satisfy the need from industry, government, and military sectors; and(ii) We can also fully exploit the high potential of SDR systems, such as its reconfigurability and visualization capability, to enhance traditional wireless engineering courses.In this paper, we propose to develop an SDR laboratory course at the undergraduate level toenhance the Bachelor of Wireless Engineering (BWE) curriculum at Auburn University, anABET-accredited program and the first-of-its-kind in the US. The proposed approach is alsomotivated by the Situated Learning Theory, the core of which is “learning by doing” . Ourefforts consist of three intertwined themes:(i) We offer well-defined SDR exercises as senior design projects, as well as research projects for students supported by the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program;(ii) We also use SDR-related exercises, which are mainly based on the OSSIE system developed at Virginia Tech , as term projects to enhance the existing wireless engineering course at Auburn;(iii) We are developing the SDR lab course based on the experience and feedback from the undergraduate projects, and will test-offer the lab course in the near future.These educational efforts are underpinned by our wireless communications and networkingresearch, in particular, on SDR and cognitive radios (CR) . We have developed a wirelessnetwork testbed , and are developing a femtocell testbed , both built on theUniversal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) platform . We will use the Student Assessmentof their Learning Gains (SALG) tool (at http://www.salgsite.org/) to collect feedback fromstudents, and conduct an ABET-style self-assessment for evaluate the effectiveness of the hands-on approach on enhancing teaching and learning. We will also work with our collaborators atother universities and industry (notably, National Instruments) to promote adoption of the coursemodules once they are fully developed.References: J. Mitola, “The software radio,” in Proc. IEEE National Telesystems Conference, pp.15–23, Washington, DC, May 1992. J. H. Reed, Software Radio: A Modern Approach to Radio Engineering, Prentice Hall PTR, 2002. J. R. Anderson, L. M. Reder and H. A. Simon, “Situated learning and education,” Educational Researcher, vol.25, no.4, pp.5–11, May 1996. Wireless@Virginia Tech, “OSSIE: SCA-based, open source software defined radio,” [online] Available: http://ossie.wireless.vt.edu/. Y. Zhao, S. Mao, J. Neel, and J.H. Reed, “Performance evaluation of cognitive radios: metrics, utility functions, and methodologies,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol.97, no.4, pp.642–659, Apr. 2009. Y. Zhao, S. Mao, J. H. Reed, and Y. Huang, "Utility function selection for streaming videos with a cognitive engine testbed," ACM/Springer Mobile Networks and Applications Journal (MONET), vol.15, no.3, pp.446–460, June 2010. Y. Huang, P. Walsh, Y. Li, and S. Mao, “A distributed polling service-based medium access control protocol testbed,” book chapter in Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks, H. Zhou (editor). Shanghai, China: InTech. ISBN: 980-953-307-594-0. (conditionally accepted, 35 pages) Y. Huang, P. Walsh, Y. Li, and S. Mao, “A GNU Radio testbed for distributed polling service-based medium access control,” in Proc. IEEE MILCOM 2011, pp.519–524, Baltimore, MD, Nov. 2011. P. Walsh and S. Mao, “A software defined radio testbed for distributed polling service-based medium access control,” poster presented at NSF Wireless Internet Center for Advanced Technology (WICAT) Research Review, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, New York, NY, Apr. 2010. D. Hu and S. Mao, "On Medium Grain Scalable video streaming over cognitive radio femtocell networks," IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Special Issue on Femtocell Networks, vol.30, no.3, pp.641–651, Apr. 2012. Ettus LLC, The Universal Software Radio Peripheral, [online] Available: http://www.ettus.com/.
Mao, S., & Huang, Y., & Li, Y., & Agrawal, P., & Tugnait, J. K. (2013, June), Introducing Software Defined Radio into Undergraduate Wireless Engineering Curriculum through a Hands-on Approach Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19836
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