Center for Advanced Radio Spectrum Utilization

Making a New Wireless Venue

The goal of the Center for Advanced Radio Spectrum Utilization (CARSU) is to fundamentally change the operation of wireless communication systems. Due to the explosive growth of wireless communications over the last decade, the majority of people rely on their mobile telephones for daily voice and data communication, and often for first contact in case of emergency. Present methods of frequency allocation combined with a reliance on fixed infrastructure threaten to halt this growth. In addition, it leads to the deployment of fundamentally less robust systems, prone to disruption in major disasters or overload. By enabling the secondary use of spectrum on an opportunistic basis, we can create ubiquitous, robust, and agile wireless systems that are able to support further traffic growth and demand while ensuring operation in case of emergencies.

CARSU will lay the theoretical foundation, develop the necessary systems knowledge, and demonstrate a prototype of a new kind of a wireless system, which will operate in a very broad frequency spectrum with bands of operation that can be dynamically allocated. Such a system would be able to reuse the frequency bands that the primary users are not using at a particular time and a particular location.

Demonstration of a wireless terminal, a prototype device, will be a centerpiece of this program. This wireless terminal will replace today’s mobile phone, and will interoperate with a ‘connectivity broker,’ a device that will replace today’s access points, to support a diversity of radio technologies as well as innovative rules of cooperation to couple to the wireless infrastructure. The terminal will be able to migrate from infrastructure-supported operation to forming a mesh network, based on either centralized frequency allocation or intelligent and cooperative sensing of unutilized bands.