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STTR Phase I: Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum for Learning, NSF11-561

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc.
101 Industrial Blvd. Turners Falls, MA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: STTR Phase I: Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum for Learning, NSF11-561
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1217594
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will improve the number of wireless communication signals that can be accommodated by the electromagnetic spectrum. Used for mobile and internet communication, the electromagnetic spectrum has become extremely crowded in recent times. In addition to ever-increasing bandwidth demands from wireless handheld communications devices, explosive growth in machine-to-machine, inter-device wireless communications is exhausting spectrum resources, which can be resolved only by near zero-sum allocation decisions made through a mixture of bidding and politics. Society requires "new spectrum" but regulations are difficult to enforce. The objective is to demonstrate a usable data link within an atmospheric absorption line feature creating a self-limiting link distance, allowing spectrum reuse. The opportunity is to pack more communications channels within the same spectrum resource by transmitting within the molecular absorption bands (principally of O2 and H2O). Particularly for short-range data transmission within spectral regions where the atmosphere is strongly absorbing, range limitations are automatically enforced by the laws of physics. This technique will enable large numbers of wireless communications transmitters to reuse spectrum outside the range exceeding the opacity of the atmosphere, hence eliminating potential interference. Anticipated results are dramatic improvements in channel carrying capacity. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to increase the maximum number of data links the atmosphere can accommodate at any given time. Because the spectrum is a scarce natural resource, optimizing its use is a societal goal. The motivation for operators of transmission devices to actually choose to self-limit is that by doing so, they improve their signal-to-noise against a sea of competing users at a lower cost than simply increasing power in an unattenuated channel. The physics of molecular gaseous absorption within the atmosphere at millimeter frequencies will enforce by law of nature what heretofore has required monitoring and regulatory enforcement. In addition to improving the efficiency of mobile phones and wireless internet commercial wireless communications, spectrum reuse technology enhances sensor communications. Sensor 'clouds' will create myriad opportunities to enhance learning and scientific investigation, such as enhancing understanding of behavior within active hurricanes. Enhanced data link security is provided, as eavesdropping is rendered impossible beyond the link range afforded by atmospheric opacity at that frequency. Millimeter wave electronics have become sufficiently mature and inexpensive to address a wide variety of industrial, scientific and consumer device applications. Nearly all electronic wireless mobile devices and sensors could benefit.

Principal Investigator:

Mark C. Beaubien

Business Contact:

Mark C. Beaubien
Small Business Information at Submission:

Yankee Environmental Systems Inc
101 Industrial Blvd. Turners Falls, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 043054407
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of South Florida
4202 E Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620-
Contact: Huseyin Arslan
Contact Phone: 8139742301