The Department of Electrical Engineering is the recipient of a three-year, $400,000 grant by the National Science Foundation, to incorporate research in the areas of communications, signal processing and networking into the undergraduate and graduate curricula.
The goal of this effort, the Indoor Wireless Project, is to design, implement and test a wireless network for two-way voice communication, data transfers and video transmission on an adaptable hardware platform. This project will be offered as an elective course (ENEE 418W) beginning this fall, with 24 seniors and graduate students expected to enroll.
"We hope that this project will generate a lot of enthusiasm among our students and offer opportunities for extensive collaboration among our colleagues,'' said Professor Adrian Papamarcou, project coordinator and class instructor for Fall '97.
Several EE faculty members with expertise in related areas will be involved, as well as graduate teaching and research assistants. The project will generate software and written reports, which will be electronically disseminated to the academic community. A virtual wireless lab web site will also be created.
The indoor wireless concept was sparked by Professor Steven Tretterís successful introduction of a laboratory course in communication systems design (ENEE 428). First offered on a pilot basis in Fall '93, it is now one of the most popular courses in the undergraduate curriculum, enrolling 60 students each semester.
The Indoor Wireless Project will adopt a similar, hands-on approach to teaching wirelesss communications, using a DSP-based platform for performing real-time baseband signal processing and other network - related tasks. Students will work in teams of three to implement a duplex wireless link (in Year I), a working wireless network consisting of a base station and four portables (in Year II), and eventually (in Year III), refine the platform to enable simultaneous real-time voice, data and video transfers among the portables.
Matching funds for the project will be provided by the department and the A. James Clark School of Engineering, so the project will continue to evolve even after its initial three-year development phase.
The 1996/97 NSF Combined Research-Curriculum Development Program competition involved 260 preproposals, of which 18 were eventually awarded grants. The Indoor Wireless Project investigator team includes Professors Nariman Farvardin, Adrian Papamarcou, Leandros Tassiulas and Steven Tretter.
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