LTE Spectrum Sharing Research Testbed: Integrated Hardware, Software, Network and Data
Reed, Jeffrey H.
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This¹ paper presents Virginia Tech’s wireless testbed supporting research on long-term evolution (LTE) signaling and radio frequency (RF) spectrum coexistence. LTE is continuously refined and new features released. As the communications contexts for LTE expand, new research problems arise and include operation in harsh RF signaling environments and coexistence with other radios. Our testbed provides an integrated research tool for investigating these and other research problems; it allows analyzing the severity of the problem, designing and rapidly prototyping solutions, and assessing them with standard-compliant equipment and test procedures. The modular testbed integrates general-purpose software-defined radio hardware, LTE-specific test equipment, RF components, free open-source and commercial LTE software, a configurable RF network and recorded radar waveform samples. It supports RF channel emulated and over-the-air radiated modes. The testbed can be remotely accessed and configured. An RF switching network allows for designing many different experiments that can involve a variety of real and virtual radios with support for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna operation. We present the testbed, the research it has enabled and some valuable lessons that we learned and that may help designing, developing, and operating future wireless testbeds.