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Introducing Software Defined Radio into Undergraduate Wireless Engineering Curriculum through a Hands-on Approach

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

23.822.1 - 23.822.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19836

Download Count

114

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Paper Authors

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Shiwen Mao Auburn University

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Dr. Shiwen Mao received a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University in 2004. Currently, he is the McWane Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. Dr. Mao's research interests include performance analysis, optimization, and algorithms for wireless networks. He was awarded the McWane Endowed Professorship in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University in 2012. He received Auburn Alumni Council Research Awards for Excellence—Junior Award and two Auburn Author Awards in 2011. He received NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in 2010. He is a co-recipient of the 2004 IEEE Communications Society Leonard G. Abraham Prize in the Field of Communications Systems and the Best Paper Runner-up Award of QShine 2008. He is on the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks Journal, Wiley International Journal of Communication Systems, and ICST Transactions on Mobile Communications and Applications.

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Yingsong Huang Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Auburn University

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Yingsong Huang received the M.S. degrees in Control Theory and Control Engineering and the B.S. in Automation, both from Chongqing University at Chongqing, China. Since 2007, he has been pursuing his Ph.D. in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Auburn University,
Auburn, AL. His research interests include modeling, control and optimization in computer networks and
multimedia communication.

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Yihan Li Auburn University

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Dr. Yihan Li received her B.E. and M.E. degrees from Tsinghua University at Beijing, P.R. China in Electrical Engineering in 1993 and 1997, respectively. She also received her M.S. in System Engineering in 2000 and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2004 from Polytechnic University (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University) at Brooklyn, NY, in 2000.
Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. She was a research scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Polytechnic University from 2004 to 2006, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University from 2006 to 2009.
Dr. Li's research interests include scheduling in-wired and wireless networks, wireless ad hoc networks, and high-speed packet switching. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Prathima Agrawal Auburn University

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Dr. Prathima Agrawal is the Sam Ginn Distinguished professor of Electrical Engineering and the director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center at Auburn University. Before arriving at Auburn University in 2003, from 1978 to 1998, she worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, NJ in various capacities. There she created and became the head of the new Networked Computing Research Department. From 1998 to 2003, she was assistant vice president of the Internet Architecture Research Laboratory and executive director of the Networking research department at Bellcore (Telcordia), at Morristown, NJ. Dr. Agrawal is widely published in the fields of mobile computing, computer architecture and VLSI design. She holds 51 US patents. She is a fellow of IEEE. Dr. Agrawal received the B.E. and M.E. degrees in Electrical Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, India. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, CA.

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Jitendra K Tugnait Auburn University

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Jitendra Tugnait received the B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from the Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, India in 1971; the M.S. and the E.E. degrees from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY; and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in 1973, 1974, and 1978, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.
From 1978 to 1982, he was an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, IA.
Tugnait was with the Long Range Research Division of the Exxon Production Research Company at Houston, TX, from June 1982 to Sept. 1989. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL, in September 1989 as a professor. He currently holds the title of James B. Davis Professor. His current research interests are in statistical signal processing, wireless and wireline digital communications, cognitive radio, multiple sensor multiple target tracking and stochastic systems analysis.
Dr. Tugnait is a past associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, IEEE Signal Processing Letters, and the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He is currently an associate editor and an area editor of the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and a Senior Editor of IEEE Wireless Communications Letters.

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Abstract

Introducing Software Defined Radio into Undergraduate Wireless Engineering Curriculum through a Hands-on ApproachA software defined radio (SDR) is a modern radio communication system [1]. 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 [2]. 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” [3]. 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 [4], 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) [5][6]. We have developed a wirelessnetwork testbed [7][8][9], and are developing a femtocell testbed [10], both built on theUniversal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) platform [11]. 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:[1] J. Mitola, “The software radio,” in Proc. IEEE National Telesystems Conference, pp.15–23, Washington, DC, May 1992.[2] J. H. Reed, Software Radio: A Modern Approach to Radio Engineering, Prentice Hall PTR, 2002.[3] 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.[4] Wireless@Virginia Tech, “OSSIE: SCA-based, open source software defined radio,” [online] Available: http://ossie.wireless.vt.edu/.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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)[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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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