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Davis, Milner awarded NSF grant for directional hybrid wireless networks

Stuart Milner (left) and Chris Davis
Stuart Milner (left) and Chris Davis

ISR-affiliated Professor Christopher Davis (ECE) and former ISR Research Scientist Stuart Milner (Research Professor, CEE) have been awarded a three-year, $270,000 National Science Foundation grant for Transceiver and Network Technology Developments for Directional Hybrid Wireless Networks. Davis is the principal investigator; Milner is co-principal investigator.

The team's prior research, as well as the research of others, has shown that mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) do not scale. In this research Davis and Milner will create a higher communication tier using autonomously configuring directional links in a flexible backbone network that connects MANET-like small clusters in an architecture that is "base-station-like."

This research will address important, unsolved research problems in stabilization, pointing, acquisition, tracking (SPAT), bootstrapping, and topology control algorithms needed to make our "hybrid" directional free space optical (FSO) and radio frequency (RF) networks a reality. The research will help to resolve link physics issues that affect the FSO/RF channel, including: (i) fading of the urban hybrid FSO/RF channel; (ii) measurements of temporal and spatial correlation functions on the channel; and (iii) studies of the performance of non-imaging FSO receivers with regard to amelioration of the tip-tilt and beam break-up problems of the FSO channel.

The researchers also will build and study new optical wireless nodes with novel design features that make them potentially valuable in indoor optical wireless applications where RF is not desirable because of interference problems, such as in the healthcare industry.

April 13, 2007


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