Communications, Signal Processing, and Networks
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 of network science, as well as to design optimal networking solutions for current and future realistic problems. General areas of interest include network science, network robustness, network metrics, computer networking protocols, architectures, modeling and analysis, and security. The group has received funding mostly from the National Science Foundation, but also from Kansas Bio Authority, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DoD), Kansas State University, as well as industry partners such as the electric power affiliates program (EPAP). Graduates from our group have published extensively and work now in academia and industry.
Network Science - Projects in this area advance the boundaries of network theory by analyzing multi-layer and interconnected complex networks. These projects use rigorous mathematical tools from network science, spectral graph theory, nonlinear dynamics, stochastic processes, controls, game theory, and optimization.
Network Engineering - Projects in this research area focus on the design and evaluation of software defined networking (SDN) solutions for communication and control of cyber physical systems. Traffic engineering and security solutions are designed through mathematical modeling and optimization and evaluated in the Smart Grid Laboratory testbed and GENI infrastructure.
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.