Congratulations to Dr. Jim Martin for his NSF Grant Award to develop and operate SciWiNet, a nationwide wireless testbed that will support academic research 'out in the wild' using commodity cellular services.
Large scale Internet testbeds such as PlanetLab and GENI are widely used by the academic community. Unfortunately, wireless infrastructure to support wireless networking systems research is not as prevalent. Projects such as Orbit and GENI/WiMAX provide a valuable service framework, but these wireless testbeds are limited in scale in terms of geographic footprint as well as in terms of diversity of radio access and device technology. Not only the networking community but also application domain specific research communities such as environmental sensing and intelligent transportation systems require wireless cyberinfrastructure. Currently the effort required to design and deploy wireless infrastructure to support such research 'in the wild' imposes a significant burden on projects.
The proposed project builds and trials a nationwide wireless network that supports the academic research community called the network the Science Wireless Network or SciWiNet. SciWiNet is based on a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) model: SciWiNet (a collaboration between Clemson University and Rutgers University) represents the Service Operator; the operator of the NVMO infrastructure represents the Carrier of Record and FCC license holder; the Wireless Network Operator (WNO)owns the underlying spectrum and network infrastructure. The underlying infrastructure is not under investigation. Instead, this project is developing and evaluating a possible service framework that can support a broad set of academic researchers and which can integrate campus-provided wireless infrastructure. More specifically, the objectives of this project are to:
1. Evaluate the efficacy of an MVNO model to provide a wireless testbed for the academic research community;
2. Integrate and build upon innovations and resources made available from the GENI community;
3. Develop appropriate support for the community of SciWiNet users that are from outside the networking research community;
4. Identify viable paths by which SciWiNet can evolve to become a self-sustaining, national resource.
This project will enable research that currently not feasible because of the limited coverage of existing GENI/WiMax base stations, including research in areas such as eHealth, intelligent transportation systems, smart buildings and structures, homeland security, and Internet of Things. It is expected that the combination of campus provided wireless access and the NVMO will facilitate development and deployment of new applications and will be instrumental in educating students to consider the combination of theory and practice in complex heterogeneous wireless systems.
Jim Martin received his PhD from N.C. State and is currently an Associate Professor in Clemson University’s Computer Science Division in the School of Computing.