Cognitive Radio Network Testbed: Design, Deployment, Administration and Examples

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Virginia Tech

Development of Cognitive Radio (CR) applications, which rely on a radio's ability to adapt intelligently to it's spectral surroundings will soon make the all important technological jump from research interest to systems integration, as demand for highly adaptive wireless applications expand.

VT-CORNET (Virginia Tech – Cognitive Radio Network Testbed) is a unique testbed concept, designed to facilitate this technology leap by offering researchers — both local and remote — the opportunity to conduct CR experiments on an installed infrastructure of highly flexible radio nodes. These nodes — 48 in total — are distributed throughout four floors of a building on the Virginia Tech campus, and provide researchers with diverse options in terms of channel conditions and deployment scenarios. The radios themselves consist of the widely used USRP2 Software Defined Radio (SDR) platform, coupled to a centrally located cluster of rack servers — which provide a high performance GPP environment for real-time software based signal processing. VT-CORNET is specially licensed to operate our low-power nodes over a broad range of frequencies, which provides researcher the opportunity to conduct experiments on live spectrum — in the presence of real primary users. Testbeds are a widely used tool in the wireless and networking fields, and VT-CORNET expands the concept through a focus on CR research and education.

This thesis describes the construction and deployment of the CORNET testbed in detail. Specific contributions made to the testbed include the design and implementation of the management network, as well as the initial deployment of the SDR nodes in the ceiling. In addition, this thesis describes the administration and management of the CORNET GPP cluster, and provides a instructions for the basic usage of CORNET from an administrative and user perspective. Finally, this thesis describes a number of custom SDR waveforms implemented on CORNET which demonstrate the utility of the testbed for cognitive radio applications.

Spectrum Sensing, Software radio, Testbeds, Cognitive radio networks