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NSF Grant on Whitespace Spectrum Sharing Awarded to Profs. Sanjay Shakkottai and Lili Qiu

NSF Grant on Whitespace Spectrum Sharing Awarded to Profs. Sanjay Shakkottai and Lili Qiu

Professor Sanjay Shakkottai

The potential opening up of new spectrum (white space) by the FCC for unlicensed use has created exciting new opportunities. This spectrum, with unique properties -- the presence of incumbent primary users with significant spatio-temporal variability in spectral occupancy -- sets this apart from a conventional wireless setting. A recent grant award by NSF toProfs. Lili Qiuand Sanjay Shakkottai addresses key problems in this setting. Their proposed research will focus on two aspects:

(i) FCC mandates that secondary (unlicensed) users must not interfere with incumbents (primary users) -- to address this, they will develop both wide-band and spatially accurate spectrum sensing infrastructure and algorithms;

(ii) The large available bandwidth as well as the absence of a dominant incumbent protocol will attract many different users and networks -- e.g., a theme park where a group of kids are playing video games, a group of adults are viewing and sharing video, and wireless smart-tickets on each customer that are providing real-time park status (e.g., ride queue lengths, ongoing sales and promotions) -- with each of these networks having its own (potentially different) protocol, radio technology and performance objective. Their research will focus on enabling dynamic spectrum sharing in this heterogeneous setting both within networks and across networks, where multiple networks might not even speak the same protocols.

The algorithms, techniques, and software resulting from this research will help enable effective communication in white space, create new wireless network technologies, and deepen understanding of wireless networks. To maximize the impact and effectiveness of their research, they plan to closely collaborate with Microsoft Research.