ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE News

Wireless researchers form new broadband I/UCRC

Jung-Min (Jerry) Park, along with co-principal investigator Jeff Reed, has received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a site at Virginia Tech for the Broadband Wireless Access & Applications Center (BWAC), which is an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Park will serve as the site director.

The University of Arizona serves as the main BWAC site. Additional BWAC sites are at Auburn University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Virginia. Another I/UCRC, the Wireless Internet Center for Advanced Technology (WICAT) currently headed by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, will disband in favor of the new center.

According to Park, “the rationale for WICAT was the recognition of the importance of wireless technology for communication, and especially as a medium for accessing the Internet.” WICAT researchers focused on cooperative communications, ad-hoc networks, video over wireless, cognitive radios and testbeds, and rapidly reconfigurable networks.

BWAC will have a new focus, and some questions they are tackling include how to use a larger portion of the radio spectrum (outside the standard 1 to 5 GHz), how to most efficiently share the existing spectrum, how to provide wireless communication to medical devices, and how to address national security issues.

The evolution of wireless technology “requires a new vision and research direction, so that emerging research fields may be positioned to both enable and bring new solutions for these unprecedented bandwidths that will be a part of future wireless technologies,” says Park.