The communications, networking, signal & image processing area includes research directed toward wireless mobile and PCS communication, smart antennas, GPS, radar, speech recognition and synthesis, image processing and pattern recognition, print image quality, remote sensing, local and wide-area computer networks, and multimedia communication and processing. Results from this area impact how we communicate with cellular phones, faxes, and the Internet; the way that we travel using GPS and intelligent highways; and the video, audio, and data that we receive and transmit for personal entertainment and electronic commerce.
Research in computer communication networks is underway to provide new methods for design, analysis, and optimization of increasingly complex and demanding communication. New switch architectures are being developed for high-speed packet-switched networks that integrate video, voice, and data. Mechanisms for scheduling, bandwidth allocation, error recovery, data compression, and access control for local and wide-area computer networks will provide improved performance and quality of service.
The integration of signal processing and communications expertise is providing important results in smart antennas, accurate GPS, improved modems, and efficient radar applications. A narrow-band modem under development is expected to provide high-performance wireless communication that will be deployed in intelligent transportation systems.
Spread spectrum is a digital communication technique that intentionally expands the bandwidth of a signal for transmission. Practical applications of spread spectrum technology are being made to personal communications systems, multimedia networks, and digital battlefields. These applications are enabled by research breakthroughs in coding and modulation techniques.
Video, image, and speech processing are areas of intense research activity. Application areas include MPEG video compression for transmission and storage, print quality enhancement, and feature extraction. The use of image processing techniques in remote sensing is a notable area of research expertise. Speech recognition and synthesis are also active topics of research. Applications of the results are being made to proper name recognition, phoneme recognition, and pitch and lexical stress detection.
Six major laboratories are involved in communications and signal processing research.
- The Communications Research Laboratory provides for experimental research and for the implementation of algorithms and architectures for synchronization, equalization, coding, modulation, antenna array processing, and wireless multiple-access systems. The laboratory includes programmable signal processors, electronic test equipment, satellite communication hardware, and commercial communication software.
- The Video and Image Processing Laboratory provides the ability to display and process high-resolution imagery. The laboratory has multiple systems that digitize, display, and process digital video. There is a complete suite of video distribution and editing equipment, a real-time MPEG encoder, and an ATM testbed network.
- The Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Laboratory supports research in speech processing, nonlinear DSP, neural networks, design of specialized signals, signal representation, and DSP architectures.
- The Electronic Imaging Systems Laboratory enables research activities in the areas of image capture, image rendering, and document processing. The laboratory is equipped with high-resolution and large format printers, high-precision scanners, and high-performance workstations.
- The Purdue Multimedia Testbed was developed for the study and evaluation of networked multimedia systems. Research areas supported by the laboratory include video and image compression, computer networks, multimedia authoring, media capture, wireless systems, and a wide variety of applications.