Our lab offers a variety of resources including a wide range of
state-of-the-art test and measurement hardware as well as a stock of standard active and
passive electronic components that extends into the radio frequency (RF) range. For more information please see the
Communication Technolog Lab (CTL) Facilities page.
Thanks to the close collaboration with the
Integrated Systems Lab (IIS),
we have access to resources from the IIS, a list of which you can access by clicking
We work on four principal hardware projects which are described below:
Real-Time MIMO Hardware Testbed
The implementation of algorithms in hardware and the development of novel
communications hardware helps not only in the validation of
theoretical ideas, but also in demonstrating their practicality.
Furthermore, valuable insights on the efficient implementation of communications algorithms can be obtained.
While our research concentrates on theoretical development, system analysis and simulation, we have a strong interest in
hardware development and practical implementation of novel algorithms and for this
have a close working collaboration with the IIS.
A broadband multiuser MIMO hardware testbed forms the core for implementation. Each modem has 4x4 MIMO capability at a bandwidth
of up to 40 MHz and at RF ranges of up to 6 GHz.
The testbed architecture is based on programmable hardware with custom RF front-ends.
The physical layer is based on the IEEE 802.11n specifications, and the real-time MIMO baseband processing
algorithms are implemented and tested on powerful generic Multi-FPGA signal processing hardware.
All hardware was developed in-house.
The nodes developed for the real-time MIMO testbed are also used, with some modifications, in our relaying testbed. The practical implementation of different relaying protocols
with the aim of demonstrating the feasibility of cooperative diversity gains and network crystallization allows us to gain valuable insights into practical problems associated with the
realization of the underlying diversity and capacity gains. Specifically, issues such as efficient distribution of channel state information, data sharing, frequency offset correction, and
synchronization can be analyzed in this flexible testbed environment.
Propagation Measurements and Modeling
The CTL has strong expertise in the area of radio propagation through
many years of work in channel measurement, data analysis, and empirical modeling.
In the course of this research activity, the CTL has developed several highly
accurate measurement tools including a broadband spread spectrum sliding correlator
channel sounder with optical antenna feeding for measurements ranging up to 24 GHz with
bandwidths of up to 500 MHz.
The CTL furthermore has a commercial real-time RF 16-channel broadband channel emulator
(extended version of PROPSimC8)
that is able to accurately reproduce complex propagation scenarios in a laboratory setup.
Furthermore, an extensive indoor measurement campaign was conducted in the campus area
using the CTL's 16x16 MIMO broadband (100MHz) channel sounder.
Practical Applications of Compressed Sensing
Compressed Sensing (CS) is a way of acquiring sparse signals (e.g. images) at a sample rate significantly lower than the Nyquist rate while still allowing to accurately reconstruct the signal. In an ongoing project (in collaboration with the IIS), we build prototypes that allow us to exploit these theoretical results for practical applications in different fields such as object tracking and video processing.