The National Science Foundation this week announced that New York City and Salt Lake City will house its first testing platforms for urban wireless research.
The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research, a $100 million public-private partnership, aims to develop next-generation wireless solutions to real-world problems — through devices, techniques, protocols and services — at the community or city-wide level.
Officials said the initial test beds, introduced by the NSF and 28 additional companies and associations, will enable new technologies to reach market more quickly, train students in advanced network systems and provide new jobs and economic opportunity.
“The platforms … will enable cutting-edge research in living laboratories across the country, which is a new and important milestone for advancing wireless capabilities,” Jim Kurose, who heads the NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate, said in a statement.
The New York test bed, named COSMOS, will include a one-square-mile section of West Harlem and focus on millimeter wave networks and dynamic optical switching technologies. Organizers hope to develop ultra-high-bandwidth and low-latency networks, as well as utilize edge computing.
Researchers from Rutgers University, Columbia University and New York University will lead the project in partnership with city government, City College of New York, the University of Arizona and Silicon Harlem.
“COSMOS is an outdoor laboratory that will allow us to test entirely new classes of wireless applications such as smart intersections that can process massive data in real-time,” said Rutgers engineer Dipankar Raychaudhuri.
The Salt Lake City testing platform, meanwhile, covers 2.3 square miles of the University of Utah campus, 1.2 square miles of the city’s downtown and a two-mile corridor connecting them.
The test bed, dubbed POWDER-RENEW, will be led by researchers from the University of Utah and Rice University. Scientists will install base stations throughout the test bed, as well as on some campus and municipal vehicles, in hopes of evaluating dynamic spectrum sharing and advanced antenna technologies.
Seventy networked sensors will also go up in the downtown and university campus sections.
Businesses partnering with POWDER-RENEW include AT&T, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Intel and National Instruments, Utah officials said.
“We want to build this thing so that one day it looks like a cellular network, then tomorrow it looks like an autonomous-vehicle network, and the day after that it can look like something a military wireless system might use, ” said Utah computer scientist Kobus Van der Merwe.
NSF officials said additional test beds would be announced next year.