Communications, Signal Processing, and Networking
This project is developing technologies applicable to both human space-flight and robotic scout missions to outer planets and asteroids. At its center is a vision for wireless bio-sensors operating within future extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suits. By designing sensor systems based on physiological studies taking place in K-State's Kinesiology Department, we are developing the ability to adapt sensor selections to varied missions. Developing a low-power wireless sensor network operating within an EVA suit represents a second major goal. This requires analysis of radio transmissions within a space-suit environment, taking into account radio-wave absorption levels in tissue and reflection from the aluminized Mylar protective material employed in the outer garment layers. A final echnical thrust is to develop suitable software and hardware solutions. To address the need for low-power radios in these applications, we are leveraging and maturing the K-State/JPL Mars Micro-Transceiver research conducted in previous years (http://ece2.ece.ksu.edu/research/mars/). This radio will be adapted for use in the sensor network development efforts, and through a joint venture with Kansas industry matured to support infusion into a wide range of future robotic precursor scout missions. Outreach activities based on the space-suit theme are also being developed to inspire a new generation of students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in their college education and future careers.
The Communications Circuits Laboratory(CCL) conducts coordinated teaching and research in analog and radio frequency (RF)design. Within the teaching area, students design,build and test complete radios and radar systems at VHF through microwave frequencies. This gives our graduates practical, hands-on experience necessary for this field of engineering. Our research efforts have been primarily focused on design of transceivers in integrated circuit form, with special emphasis on the modeling and application of high-Q spiral inductors and performanceof semiconductor processes. Students and faculty connected with the CCL have experience with standard bulk-CMOS, silicon-on-insulator(soi) and silicon-on-sapphire (SOS), and GaAs integrated circuit processes. Designs are created with tools from both Agilent and Cadence and are tested at the board and chip levels with industrycaliber measurement equipment and probing stations. Examples of research and development work is our Mars microtransceiver recently developed in collaboration with NASA's jet propulsion laboratory. This three-year project resulted in a complete RFIC chipset for future missions to the planet Mars. Please see http://ece2.ece.ksu.edu/research/mars/for additional information.
Our goals are to conduct theoretical research in emerging areas, as well as to apply optimal networking solutions through simulations, to current and future realistic problems. General areas of interest include network science, network robustness, networking protocols, architecture, modeling and analysis, security and network metrics. Three main topics of focus are as follows:
- Characterization and control of complex networks. Projects based on this topic are concerned with the study of multiple statistical metrics and performance indices for complex networks. Specific projects under this category include quantifying the robustness of complex networks with respect to epidemic spreading using SIS and SIR models and mitigation strategies using optimal control, analysis of cascading failures in power grid networks with mitigation strategies including use of distributed sources and islanding, efficient techniques for modularity and cluster detection in complex networks, and study of weighted networks.
- GpENI enabling network innovation at K-State. The Great Plains Environment for Network Innovation (GpENI) is a regional network between the University of Kansas(KU), Kansas State University (K-State), University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), and University of Missouri Kansas City, within the Great Plains Network. Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI) is a global, programmable testbed which provides experimenters the ability to deploy innovative ideas in real-time. SNG administers the core GpENI testbed, an aggregate of GENI that realizes programability at all seven layers of the protocol stack through PlanetLab, VINI and DCN (dynamic circuit network). Furthermore, SNG has enabled K-State to become the 13th openflow campus among other schools including Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford and Rutgers. This opportunity allows researchers at K-State, and also researchers around the world, the opportunity to conduct network research in domains such as security, mobility, energy management, access control and traffic management.
- Peer-to-Peer networks. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking is a distributed application architecture which generates more than 50% traffic in the current Internet. Different from traditional client-server architecture, each peer is both a service consumer and a service provider in P2P networks. P2P technologies can be used to improve system performance, scalability and robustness; therefore they are popular in file-sharing, video streaming, web caching, etc. The goal of this project is to design architectures and protocols to enhance the efficiency of P2P systems.
The WiCom group supports a wide range of fundamental as well as applied research in the areas of wireless communication and information processing. Core expertise of the group lies in mathematical/statistical modeling, estimation and detection/decision theory, optimization and control theory, and information theory. The group has received funding from federal and state agencies such as National Science Foundation, NASA EPSCOR program, Kansas Dept. of Transportation(KDoT), Sandia National Labs (Department of Energy), U.S Marines (M2 Technologies), State of Kansas, Kansas State University Targeted Excellence Program, as well as industry partners Garmin Inc., Trisquare Communications, etc. Researchers in the group have contributed to more than 60 peer reviewed publications in the last five years.
Key projects in the wireless communication area over the last five years include design of a practical cognitive radio, resource allocation and quality of service assurance in a competitive cognitive radio network, precoding for MIMO and MIMO-OFDM systems, coexistence issues between ultra-wideband and GPS systems, multiuser detection in MC-CDMA systems, and biologically inspired spreading sequence design strategies. The groups contribution to the fields of spreadspectrum communication and MIMO precoding has resulted in two patent applications. Projects in the area of information processing in sensor networks include resource allocation in collaborative target tracking, information fusion strategies for distributed event detection over bandwidth constrained networks, optimal control-based sensor deployment strategies, sensor fusion in biomedical applications, networked control of distributed systems, and automated pavement distress detection via image processing and sensor fusion methods.