Under Construction!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 pm by JamesNeel

The blog is being updated.  It will include all previous posts.  Please be patient.


DoD Implicitly Requiring Policy-Based DSA on SDRs?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:26 pm by JamesNeel

I attended a talk by Jeff Boksiner at the IDGA SDR conference where he spoke on DOD Instruction 4650.01 issued on Jan 09, 2009 (pdf), which requires new devices to have a Spectrum Supportability Risk Assessment (SSRA) performed at each acquisition milestone (conceptual, experimental, developmental, operational) to determine the impact on all known “spectrum dependent systems” (SDS) where the devices will be deployed.

Officially, it’s not used for a go/no-go decision on the purchase / acquisition, but if it degrades performance too much (either of their own or another system, including systems of other friendly nations), you know it will. In theory, vendors will adjust their designs (e.g., bandwidths and operational channels) when performance is too degraded.

In my interpretation, this regulation is implicitly mandating the use of DSA-based policy-enabled software defined radios because of the costs of potential redesigns and the inherent advantages of SDR and policy-based cognitive radios.

The following are a few excerpts from the instruction.

Related to apparent preference to DSA / CR / SDR systems


b. Spectrum policy and spectrum management functions shall be guided by the following core principles:

Pursue spectrum-efficient technologies to support the increasing warfighter demand for spectrum access and encourage development of S-D systems that can operate in diverse electromagnetic environments (EMEs).




g. In accordance with Reference (f), DoD Components shall consider sharing the spectrum with other Federal agencies and with commercial spectrum users. Sharing of spectrum shall be accomplished:

(1) Without degradation to the DoD mission.

(2) In a manner that provides current and future DoD users with sufficient regulatory protection.[emphasis mine]

(3) With minimal risk that such sharing will result in loss of access to the spectrum necessary to perform the DoD mission.

And why I think it’s mandatory:

d. DoD Components shall obtain U.S. Government (USG) certification of spectrum support, as required by Reference (f), prior to authorization to operate for experimental testing, developmental testing, or operations of S-D systems in the United States and its possessions (US&P). As required by Reference (e), USG certification of spectrum support shall be obtained prior to submission of cost estimates (i.e., prior to Defense Acquisition System Milestone B (Reference (i)) for development or procurement of major S-D systems and for all space and satellite systems. In addition, some HNs require their own certification before providing authorization to operate.

From Enclosure 3

(1) Certification of spectrum support shall be obtained as required (Reference f) prior to authorization to operate for experimental testing (Stage 2), developmental testing (Stage 3), or operations (Stage 4) of S-D systems. (See Chapter 10 of Reference (f) for descriptions of the Stages of Certification.)

Since this requirement is by operation , potentially doing a redesign for each deployment will be insanely costly. Assuming the set of SDSs grows over time (as more and more radios are deployed), then even deploying into the same region will be a moving target.

However, according to Jeff’s presentation, there is an interest in translating these tests and requirements into policies expressed in software that a policy-defined radio could interepret. Then if a radio can be shown to support all dynamically defined policies, then the same design can be fielded in each scenario and be guaranteed to conform to these changing spectrum support requirements.

In other words, DoD radio designers are now faced with the following two choices:

  1. Non-recurring engineering costs become recurring engineering costs as radios are potentially redesigned for every purchase.
  2. Incur larger front-end engineering cost to design a radio that implements policy constrained DSA on an SDR and then allow these changes to be reflected in the policy control.

Add in the additional time-delays that the multistage SSRA process will add to the development of non-DSA polikcy constrained radios, and I think it’s a no-brainer.

So I’m marking January 9th 2009 as the day that the DoD mandated policy-defined, DSA-enabled SDRs for all future purchases. [Edited 3/4/9 to clean up formatting]


Cognitive radio in Lynchburg that’s not from CRT

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:13 am by JamesNeel

Ok, it’s from Tom Rondeau for while he was at VT. But it was a CR article carried in the local paper and Tom is from Lynchburg.

(link) Virginia Tech grad given doctoral award.

A Virginia Tech graduate from Jefferson Forest High School has been awarded one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for doctoral dissertations.

Thomas Rondeau received one of two Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

See the sidebar of the blog for a link to his dissertation (multi-objective genetic algorithms and learning in cognitive radio).


Site notes July 23, 2008

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:05 am by JamesNeel

Or hey, why doesn’t my link to post x work anymore?

Short version: Upgraded to wordpress 2.6. Old permalinks to posts with a date format are broken, everything else should be fine (links are there, just a different format for the url).

Long version: Noticed that yahoo (the host) wasn’t automatically upgrading wordpress as they were supposed to and there was some weird stuff showing up in search engine crawls (background). So I used the wordpress widget to automatically upgrade the site and virtually everything broke. After a bunch of manual php and sql editing, I think everything is back to its quasi-normal state, except for the permalinks whose format I had to change. The permalinks will appear normal if you’re clicking through from this site, but old external links will be broken because of the format change.

(This is apparently not an uncommon problem, nor one I could find a fix for. So if you know of a fix for permalinks and yahoo hosted wordpress 2.6, leave a comment. FYI, as a “feature” yahoo eats the .htaccess file whose editing wordpress suggests for other hosts.)


Monisha Ghosh (Phillips)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:29 pm by JamesNeel

Notes below the fold

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Notes from (Randy Ekl) Mot0rola at White Space Workshop @ SDRFR

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:00 pm by JamesNeel

Notes below the fold

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Notes from Bruce (MSTV) at White Space Workshop @ SDRF

Posted in cognitive pilot channel, TV Bands, Uncategorized, white space at 1:24 pm by JamesNeel

Unfortunately wordpress ate my post and this was where I was taking my notes, so highlights from memory (take the numbers with a grain of salt). It’s really a shame as it was quite a detail-rich presentation. I might supplement this later after I get a copy of the slides.

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3 MANET Drafts and an RFC Published

Posted in standards, Uncategorized at 10:18 am by JamesNeel

Speaking of MANETs, the IETF MANET working group published 3 drafts and an RFC. An overview of the publications is given here:

Of the three new Internet Drafts, one is on a neighborhood discovery protocol that allows nodes to discover and work with nodes one and two hops away. A second one is about how to build a packet format capable of carrying multiple messages. A third one, about the Management Information Base, describes a set of tools for configuring and managing routers on a mobile network.

In addition, IETF approved “Jitter Considerations in Mobile ad-Hoc Networks” as a Request for Comment (
RFC 5148). This work suggests ways to randomly vary packet transmission times in order to avoid packet collision. Internet Drafts are submitted to IETF for consideration as standards. Once approved, they become RFCs.

Also, apparently as part of the meeting, there were demos of variations on OLSR (I have no details on exactly what was implemented).

In the context of cognitive radio, view the drafts as new sets of processes that can be leveraged to make observations, distribute information, and control platforms (particularly useful in a cognitive network implementation). The RFC should similarly provide points to make observations and control device operation (transmission timing in particular).

Call for more cognitive radio contributions at military forum

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by JamesNeel

Not a lot new here, but passing along the link which summarizes a speech given by U.S. Army Col. Timothy A. Kokinda yesterday at the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum.

What I did find interesting was the emphasis placed on interoperability as I’m used to thinking of DoD cognitive radio = spectrum management + MANETs. So really this should be a reminder that applications are not domain-specific.

Agarwal on Cognitive Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:48 am by JamesNeel

Here. Basically an introduction to the concept and applications for the uninitiated.

A pet peeve of mine (of which I have many!), he repeatedly capitalizes “cognitive” as if it were a proper name or a term of reverence. Normally, I wouldn’t mention this but he’s not alone in this habit and I would like to nip this usage in the bud before it becomes too common.


EE Times article on security and CR

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:34 am by JamesNeel

The EE Times notes that VT professor Jung-Min Park received an NSF grant to study security in cognitive radio networks. I’ve seen Wireless @ VT presentations that cover the subject in more detail, but from the writeup it looks like its predominately traditional cognitive radio research areas (e.g., cooperative sensing, etiquettes) and not a lot of security.

Next time I’m in Blacksburg, maybe I’ll do some original “blog” reporting and find out if there’s more than meets the eye.


EE Times Article on Cognitive Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:40 am by JamesNeel

Or more accurately, cognitive radio is named one of the 35 People, Places, & Things That Will Shape The Future.


MRT Article on Cognitive Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:29 pm by JamesNeel

MRT has an article up on cognitive radio and public safety. It touches on a number of different developments over the last year which should make cognitive radio and frequency agility in general easier to achieve – Bitwave’s flexible RFIC, Harris’s multiband public safety radio, the Shared Spectrum / Harris partnership.

It also mentions a $500 cognitive radio being developed by M/A COM and Shared Spectrum. Giving a little more context, I’m virtually certain that refers to the DARPA WNAN/WANN/WAND program where the networking part (WAND) is led by BBN and the hardware node is being designed by M/A COM. As part of the program there’s a mandate to include Shared Spectrum’s xG technology in the deployed solution. 



NTIA Spectrum Sharing Testbed

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:41 pm by JamesNeel

The NTIA formally issued a Notice of Solicitation of Participation in today’s Federal Register and request for comments on implementation of a Spectrum Sharing Innovation Test-Bed and looking for expressions of interest in participating. Responses are due by Feb 29; the following are key excerpts from the solicitation.

Test-Bed Frequency Band: 410-420 MHz.

Authorization of Test-Bed Operations: FCC Part 5 Experimental Radio Service Rules. 

Limitations on Test-Bed Operations: Frequency and/or geographic limitations may be identified as necessary

Protection of Incumbent Spectrum Users: To address potential interference to incumbent spectrum users the Test-Bed employing DSA equipment will be performed in three phases:

Phase 1 - Equipment Characterization. Equipment employing DSA techniques will be sent to the NTIA Institute for Telecommunication Sciences in Boulder, Colorado and characterization measurements of the DSA capabilities in response to simulated environmental signals will be performed.

Phase 2 - Evaluation of Capabilities. After successful completion of Phase 1, the DSA capabilities of the equipment in the geographic area of the Test-Bed will be evaluated.

Phase 3 - Field Operation Evaluation. After successful completion of Phase 2, the DSA equipment will be permitted to transmit in an actual radio frequency signal environment. An automatic signal logging capability will be used during the operation of the Test-Bed to help resolve interference events if they occur. A point-of-contact will also be established to stop Test-Bed operations if interference is reported.

Planning and Evaluation of Test-Bed: A flexible peer review process open to the public will be employed.\13\ Federal and non-federal users will have an opportunity to participate in the development of test plans, review status reports, and review the final report on the results of the Test-Bed.


CrownCom08 Call for Papers Reminder (Update)

Posted in conferences, Uncategorized at 9:43 am by JamesNeel

A reminder call for papers for CrownCom08 was emailed to me today. Here’s the official call for papers.

Basically anything related to the field of cognitive radio is considered acceptable.

Key dates:

  • Full papers/tutorial proposals due: Jan 15
  • Acceptance notification: March 1
  • Conference Dates: May 15-17 (Singapore)


Papers are now due Feb 3.


CR and SDR: Technologies and Techniques Seminar Call For Papers

Posted in conferences, Uncategorized at 10:34 am by JamesNeel

Perhaps more appropriate for the European CR community (short 1-day conference), the IET has issued a call for papers for a seminar on cognitive radio and software radio to be held on September 18 2008 in London.

Requested paper topics include the following:

Cognitive Radios:

Spectrum management, optimisation and spectrum sharing; Spectrum censoring, co-censoring; Cognitive Networking; Intelligence of CR; Detection of other users; Connection to other CR’s; Regulation; Applications

Software Defined Radios:

Implementation; Trends in convergence; Antennas; Software portability; Power consumption

Though I don’t see it on the conference webpage, abstracts are due by Monday, 31 March 2008 and should be mailed to eventsa2@theiet.org


DySPAN Call for Papers

Posted in conferences, Uncategorized at 7:57 pm by JamesNeel

Though apparently not quite yet online (here’s where it should be), DySPAN 2008 (Chicago, Oct 14-17) issued its call for papers today.

Here’s some relevant dates from the email I received:


Intent to submit (Register Title, Abstract, Author List):5 Feb 2008

Policy Extended Abstract/In-preparation-draft due:1 May 2008

Technology Full papers due: 16 May 2008

Notification of interest to Policy Authors requesting full papers: 23 May 2008

Full versions of selected policy papers due for second review:13 June 2008

Acceptance notification for Technology  papers:23 June 2008 Final acceptance of policy papers: 27 June 2008

Camera ready versions for all papers due to IEEE: 10 August 2008


Cognitive Radio Research at the SDR Forum

Posted in conferences, Uncategorized at 1:16 pm by JamesNeel

Today is the first of three days of presentations of cognitive radio research at the SDR Forum technical conference (which has a significant focus on cognitive radio – approximately 1/4 of all papers and all keynotes and panel discussions are on cognitive radio. Probably only a matter of time before its the SDR/CR Forum ;)).

Today’s lineup: (Al normally collects presentations and posts them in an SDR drop box; I’ll post a link when it comes available. I’ll also see if I can get permission from the authors to link presentations as the conference proceeds for those not at the conference.)

Session 3.1

K. Enda, R. Kohno (Yokohama) , A Study on the Estimation of Traffic Quantity and MAC Protocol in Radio Wave Environmental Monitoring”

H. Sharma, P. Balamuralidhar, “A Context Interpretation Framework for Cognitive Network Devices” (Tata)

[ed- The use of ontological reasoning for decision making is a pet peeve of mine because I think it’s an unneccessary resource hog. I first saw this documented in Chapt 13 of Fette’s Cognitive Radio Technology where Table 13.1 noted that the complexity to reason in OWL was unbounded as the number of facts in the reasoning database grew. The authors of this paper saw similar effects where drawing a single inference from a fact book consisting of 39 concepts and 29 properties on a Pentium IV took 100 ms.)

M. Kokar, L. Lechowicz. “Composition, Equivalence, and Interoperability: An Example” (Northeastern) (moved to Session 3.4)

Y. Nakao, K. Watanabe, T. Sato, R. Kohno, “A Study on Coexistence of WLAN and WPAN Using a PAN coordinator with an Array Antenna” (Yokohama)

S. Thilakawardana, K. Moessner, “Use of Wavelet Techniques in Spectrum Holes Detection in Opportunistic Radio”

Session 3.2

G. Cafaro, N. Correal, D. Taubenheim, “A 100 MHz – 2.5 GHz CMOS Transceiver in an Experimental Cognitive Radio System”

F. Ge, C. Bostian, “A Wide-band Spectrum Sensing Approach with Agiliy and Low SNR Sensibility” (VT)

P. Amini, E. Azarnasab, S. Akoum, X. Mao, H. Rao, B. Farhang-Boroujeny, “Implementation of a Cognitive Radio Modem” (Utah)

S. Chantaraskul, D. Thilakawardana, K. Moessner, “Genetic Algorithm Approach for the Decision-making Framework in Opportunistic Radio” (Surrey)

K. Kashiki, T. Fujimoto, M. Nhara, “Development of SDR Based Equipment with Channel Monitoring Function for Cognitive Radio”


SDR Forum Smart Radio Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:07 pm by JamesNeel

The winners of the 2007 SDR Form Smart Radio Challenge were just announced at the SDR Forum.

Best paper award: Utah ($1000 scholarship)

Best design: Virginia Tech, MPRG

Winner of problem 1: Virginia Tech, CWT ($2000 cash for “scholarships”)

Winner of problem 2: Penn State ($2000 cash for “scholarships”)

Winner of problem 3: KTH (Absolut) ($2000 cash for “scholarships”)

Grand Prize Winner winner: Virginia Tech CWT ($4000 cash for “scholarships”)

Participating teams (teams had to get past a proposal stage just to compete) were: Utah, SUPELEC (France), Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm), Universiti Putra Malaysia, Penn State, Clemson, Virginia Tech CWT and Virginia Tech MPRG.

The problems and specific participants were as follows.

Problem 1: Clemson, Utah, VT CWT, VT MPRG

Develop a smart radio system that will automatically find available spectrum within a pre-defined band and transmit data over that band with a pre-defined QoS.

Problem 2 Penn State, SUPELEC

Develop a smart radio terminal that can automatically provide interoperability between radios with different modulations, voice, and network protocols, and which knows how to forward messages to the proper network – be it commercial or civil.

Problem 3: KTH (Absolut), Malaysia

Develop a smart radio system that can, using available spectrum, accurately detect the location of many vehicles within the city and assess the velocity along common roadways.  The system will then provide user specific route guidance from starting point to ending point which will minimize total fuel consumption.. The system must be future proof, to allow new features and capabilities to be added over an expected 10-year life span of the vehicle without requiring a visit to the dealer.

Update 5/17/08

Turned off comments – an insane amount of spam was directed at this particular post.


SCC41 Call for Proposals

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:56 am by JamesNeel

I don’t have a link for this (original reporting on a blog!), but the SCC41 just issued a call for proposals. From an email:

IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 41 (SCC41) is seeking proposals for standards projects in the areas of dynamic spectrum access, cognitive radio, interference management, coordination of wireless systems, advanced spectrum management, and policy languages for next generation radio systems.  SCC41 is particularly interested in ideas that could be implemented in commercial products in the near to medium term. 

If interested, please submit an abstract of approximately 300-600 words to eydt_bernie@bah.com by 15 November 2007.  The SCC41 Management Board will review submissions and extend invitations to submitters to present their proposals at its Berlin meeting 3-6 December 2007.

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