Purdue University part of multidisciplinary team working on the problems of the crowded communications spectrum
A multidisciplinary team of 29 researchers at 17 institutions, in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DoD), will develop technology and policy to solve the problems of a crowded communications spectrum. Dimitrios Peroulis, the Reilly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Senior Vice President for Purdue University Online, will be part of the project, known as the SMART Hub, or Spectrum Management with Adaptive and Reconfigurable Technology Hub. The goal is to design radar and communications circuits that can transmit and receive on multiple frequencies in more than one band, shifting from one that is too crowded to another that is more open.
Baylor University is the lead institution for SMART Hub and will also develop direct military and naval applications to move the technology from the lab to the real world. Charles Baylis, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Baylor, is the SMART Hub director. He says there are five tasks the project is focusing on, with multidisciplinary teams working on each.
“This means the people designing the circuits and devices can talk with the people developing the policy and law that will allow the devices to operate,” Baylis said. “And we’re able to train students in these fields as well to provide the future workforce.”
Peroulis says Purdue will be part of a team working on reconfigurable circuits as well as contribute in workforce development efforts.
“Spectrum management is of critical importance for both defense and commercial applications. In our team we plan to develop fully reconfigurable transmitting antenna arrays across multiple bands,” Peroulis said.
The idea of a DoD spectrum research laboratory was initially conceived in 2017 during a joint meeting between Baylor and the Army and Naval Research Laboratories (ARL and NRL). In 2018, conversations with congressional members and staff regarding the idea began. In 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) provided planning support to form the initial SMART Hub team through the NSF Spectrum Innovation Initiative program. In 2022, Congress approved initial funding for SMART Hub, which officially launched in October 2023 as a DoD Spectrum Innovation Center in collaboration with ARL. The project was announced at a news conference on Jan. 17, 2024.