Collaborative Research: SII-NRDZ: Spectrum Sharing via Consumption Models and Telemetry – Prototyping and Field Testing in an Urban FCC Innovation Zone

Dates: 01/01/23 โ€“ 12/31/25
Award Amount:ย  $290,000.00
Award #: 2232459

PI: Ivan Seskar
Co-PIs: Dipankar Raychaudhuri


This project investigates ways to share the electromagnetic (radio-frequency) spectrum using an automatic spectrum management system with the potential for order-of-magnitude gains over current static allocation practices. The project prototypes a management system for spectrum sharing within and among disparate services such as communications and active and passive scientific uses. The project involves two facilities in West Harlem, New York City: (i) the COSMOS testbed sponsored by the NSF Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program and (ii) the Cooperative Science Center for Earth System Science and Remote Sensing Technologies sponsored by NOAA (NOAA-CESSRST). The two facilities are in an Innovation Zone created by the FCC to facilitate research and testing. The project uses systems available at the facilities for spectrum sharing experiments, potentially including: communications-passive sharing using a weather measurement radiometer at 28 GHz; terrestrial-satellite communications sharing using an environmental sensing satellite earth station receiver dish at 1.7 GHz or 7.7-8.2 GHz; communications-radar sharing using a weather monitoring radar at 9.5 GHz; and communications-communications sharing using unlicensed 5G cellular and WiFi networks at 6 GHz. The New York City dense urban environment is a stressful case for spectrum sharing. Techniques validated using these scenarios in an urban testbed are expected to function well in other cities as well as in less-dense environments. Enhancing spectrum sharing will increase the amount of wireless activity that can be supported in the limited available spectrum. In this way, the project helps sustain future economic growth, social benefits, and scientific discoveries that are threatened by growing spectrum congestion. In addition to the research and prototyping tasks, the project includes outreach to stakeholders, impact on education via an established Rutgers WINLAB summer program, and outreach to the local Harlem community building on an established program for teachers.

The automatic system to be prototyped is called the Zone Management System (ZMS) of a Radio Dynamic Zone to be established around the two facilities. The ZMS represents a new spectrum management approach that combines a standardized fundamental information model, measurement-assisted decision making, scalable spectrum sensing, and continuous risk analysis and management. The fundamental information model of the ZMS is Spectrum Consumption Models (SCMs), recently standardized as IEEE 1900.5.2. SCMs capture the transmission and reception spectrum use boundaries of wireless systems so their compatibility (i.e., non-interference) can be arbitrated by efficient and standardized computational methods. This project develops techniques for efficiently generating SCMs and using them in a large-scale ZMS. The project develops spectrum sharing and interference management algorithms that use SCMs and measurement feedback to achieve high spectrum efficiency, low processing complexity and communication overhead, and scalability. The project also develops an adaptive scalable framework for spectrum sensing in a dense environment. The adaptation is controlled by a risk analysis subsystem that focuses monitoring resources on devices and situations most likely to cause interference, and to rapidly detect malicious actors. The ZMS is evaluated via simulations and via real-world experimentation at COSMOS and NOAA-CESSRST. The ZMS is envisioned as a pathfinder prototype for the broader concept of Radio Dynamic Zones. The project reduces risk for and contributes technology towards a potential future National Radio Dynamic Zone.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.