SBIR Phase II: Dynamic Broadband Wireless Networks

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$488,450.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
1058597
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
1058597
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
Phase II
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
2400 TRADE CENTER AVE, LONGMONT, CO, 80503-7600
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
125635164
Principal Investigator:
RobertWeaver
(303) 678-8876
robert.weaver@fidelity-comtech.com
Business Contact:
RobertWeaver
DPhil
(303) 678-8876
robert.weaver@fidelity-comtech.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will demonstrate the ability of an adaptive antenna system ? a radio with an antenna that changes its radiation pattern to provide coverage where it is needed ? to automatically optimize coverage. Harsh RF environments, for example those with shifting reflective surfaces such as shipping container yards, make it hard to set up reliable communication even when there is only one radio. When several radios must work together to provide coverage in an extended area, it is extremely difficult and time-consuming to manually tailor the radiation pattern of each antenna so that every portion of the area receives adequate signal and the radios do not interfere with each other. Through a combination of innovative pattern computation algorithms and active sensor feedback, the system resulting from this project will automatically tailor coverage to meet these goals. The system will not just be able to set up the initial coverage of an area, it will also continually monitor the quality of the coverage and automatically adjust to changes in the system or the environment that may affect the quality of that coverage. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is decreased deployment costs and substantially increased reliability. In the short run, the system will be built with a WiFi platform for use in the maritime ports market as a more reliable communication system to run their mission critical scheduling application. The deployment savings result from not only a quicker and more reliable initial setup but also from automated adjustments to coverage as environmental factors change ? including such radical changes as the failure of one radio. Because the system is agnostic to the frequency and the protocol used by the radio, it is not limited to WiFi deployments. The project will demonstrate this by creating and operating a prototype WiMAX version of the adaptive antenna system. In the long term, this adaptive antenna technology offers significant benefits to any large scale radio deployment. For example, as providers roll out the next generation of cellular, cell sizes will shrink significantly which will substantially increase the deployment cost. An adaptive antenna system offers not only the promise of reducing these costs but also adding increased connection reliability to these next generation systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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