Wireless Communication Testbed
Purdue University and the University of Michigan have been jointly
developing a testbed with support from
the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) that became
available in 1995. This testbed is to be used to study wireless communication
systems, particularly satellite links used in such systems. The planned
operation of the communications testbed is from any terminal connected
to the Internet to open, for example, two X-Windows. One window would control
the transmitter at Purdue and the other would examine (at Purdue) how the
signal looks when it is received via satellite at Michigan.
This is possible
because the display at Michigan is passed via the Internet back to Purdue
to appear as the second X-Window on the local display. Not only can the
display be returned to Purdue, but samples of the received signal can be
loaded onto disk at Michigan and the file of samples can be sent by Internet
back to Purdue for later off-line studies to determine how other forms
of modulation and coding would have performed.
This now makes
it possible, for example, when visiting a laboratory to demonstrate results
with actual signals by simply logging on to a terminal running X-Windows
that is connected to the Internet. The testbed
focuses on the development
of spread-spectrum communication systems for developing digital cellular
and personal communication systems as well as satellite communications
using devices that are developed as part of a solid state research program.
Between the universities, information is being shared about setting up
the equipment and the testbed to reduce the time burden on any one faculty
member and to allow faculty to focus on basic research at the same time
they communicate via papers and the testbed to industry and the military.
The useful transmission of information that guides research into the universities
from military and industrial partners promises to greatly improve programs
at the schools.