By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

With the rapid increase of wireless technology and services, more companies and devices are competing for a limited amount of available space across the wireless radio spectrum. 

This is an issue that School of Information Studies (iSchool) assistant professor Carlos Caicedo has been researching along with a working group from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Caicedo and the IEEE working group have been focusing their efforts on developing a standard method for modeling wireless spectrum consumption.  

To support this work, Caicedo was recently awarded a grant from Google to explore and develop a tool to elaborate and evaluate wireless spectrum consumption models, and provide spectrum managers with the data they need to determine compatibility of spectrum use between different wireless systems and devices.

The project, titled, “Enabling Spectrum Sharing via Spectrum Consumption Models” was funded with a $63,000 grant from Google’s Faculty Research Awards program. Google’s awards are designed mostly to support the research expenses of one graduate student to work on the project for one year.

Caicedo, along with a Ph.D. student researcher, will develop a software solution that helps to determine spectrum use compatibility between multiple systems, and methods to determine wireless spectrum use opportunities in a given area with the use of spectrum consumption models.

“Currently, it’s very hard to determine when two wireless systems might interfere with each other,” explained Caicedo. “The IEEE is working on developing a standard to help with this problem, and the point of this tool is to facilitate the use of that standard.”

The project would allow radio frequency managers to develop spectrum consumption models, and by exchanging these models with others, they can then determine how wireless use and interference would factor into the provision and/or use of wireless services in a given area.

“The mechanisms we have for managing the radio frequency spectrum now are inefficient,” said Caicedo. “Because of the high demand for wireless data services, we need new ways to convey spectrum use and manage the radio spectrum.“

With new uses for wireless technology emerging in the marketplace every year, wireless spectrum managers need to be able to adequately prepare for future services and capabilities. Caicedo believes that this tool will allow them to do that.

“Our hope is that the adoption of this standard, as well as the tool, will help to solve the artificial spectrum shortage caused by today’s management methods, and prepare for future technology,” noted Caicedo. 

After the new tool is developed, Caicedo plans to release it under an Open Source license.