Skip to Main Content
In this paper we describe the process that we undertook to build a configurable wireless platform that can be used to implement cognitive radio network (CRN) architectures. Consisting of a commodity IEEE 802.11 a/b/g (WiFi) router at the physical (PHY) layer and RF signal processing and IP traffic shaping circuitry, the resultant hybrid terminal (called the WiFi CR) becomes a building block that can implement cognitive femtocells, point to multipoint, mesh, and relay wireless networks. The IP addressable WiFi CR terminals can sense their radio environment, schedule IEEE 802.11 packet transmissions in space and time, and select channel, modulation rates, and transmit power. Intelligent operation is undertaken by a cognitive network management system (CR NMS) which controls a number of WiFi CR terminals and solicits sensor information from them. The CR NMS gathers the spectrum and sensed interference information and builds a memory map with such knowledge, thereby creating radio environment awareness for the CRN. Cognitive engines (the intelligent control algorithms) within the CR NMS use radio environment knowledge and other information (such as spectrum policy) to give the system a capability to seek white space spectrum, avoid interference, identify primary users, and take on other tasks associated with cognitive radio (CR). Designed around ISM band operation, this generic terminal, with proper RF modifications, can work in the TV bands, 3.65-3.70 GHz, and up to 60 GHz.