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NTIA Signs Agreement for Wireless Test Bed Study in Partnership with University of Colorado Boulder

April 12, 2018
News Media Contact
Anne Veigle

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced a five-year cooperative research and development agreement with the University of Colorado Boulder to develop a wireless test bed. NTIA’s Boulder-based Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) will work with the university to install spectrum monitoring sensors throughout the CU Boulder campus, with data to be available to both parties for spectrum management research.

The project will enable measurement of wireless spectrum and system occupancy and spectrum utilization, testing and evaluation of spectrum sharing scenarios, and validation of radio wave propagation models. It also will help to develop early interference detection, interference mitigation, and spectrum forensics techniques.

“We’re excited that ITS is moving forward with this important test bed research that will provide analytics on how real-world spectrum sharing could work. The scientists and engineers working at ITS are experts in the field of spectrum measurement, and we expect the collaboration with CU to lead to new opportunities for government users to share spectrum with other agencies and commercial users.”

--David Redl, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator

Access to this wireless facility will allow researchers to efficiently explore new technology and investigate spectrum properties over a city-scale area under real world conditions, providing significant benefits to govern­ment, academia, and industry. When it is completed, the test bed could be used not only to field-test spectrum monitoring technology but also to offer wireless technology trial and development capabilities. The test bed will also provide a glimpse of what it will take to prototype and build a nationwide spectrum monitoring network.

“This will be a great motivator for students who use wireless devices on a daily basis but have little understanding of the underlying physical limitations associated with wireless technology. This testbed will enable measurement of the effects associated with the ever-growing demand for increased wireless communications.”

--Peter Mathys, Associate Professor in Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, CU

“Many facets of engineering education will be impacted as we develop the wireless test bed on campus. Wireless networking will gain valuable information on utilization statistics and associated processing methods. Wireless engineering will have a test bed to perfect sensor development and learn first-hand about interference scenarios associated with spectrum sharing.”

--Dirk Grunwald, Professor of Computer Science, CU

­­­­­­­­­­­­About NTIA

NTIA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.

About CU Boulder

As one of 34 U.S. public research institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU)—and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region—CU Boulder’s goal is to directly affect Colorado communities through collaborative research, innovation and entrepreneurship. CU Boulder faculty, staff and students work with the broader community to establish unique connections that have lasting outcomes—both across Colorado and around the world.