Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

For rural Pennsylvania, wireless is the ticket to the 21st century

10.03.2004


Lehigh engineering professor is testing the usefulness of multitier networks in remote areas that lack digital and cable-modem access



When the providers of Internet services look at a map of Susquehanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania, they see a hilly, lightly populated region that offers little financial incentive to install the wires necessary for digital or cable-modem access.
When Shalinee Kishore looks at Susquehanna County, she sees a chance for wireless technology to give rural Americans the same access to modern telecommunications that urban and suburban residents enjoy.

And she feels privileged to tackle a problem that has implications for real people in the real world.



Kishore, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh University, recently received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to create multitier wireless networks and to demonstrate their usefulness in remote, under-served regions by developing an outreach program with Susquehanna County.

The five-year grant is one of the top national awards given to young professors in the U.S.

Multitier networks, says Kishore, can provide users in remote areas with the range of communication services people have come to expect, from high-speed Internet access at certain locations to lower-speed voice, data and messaging services everywhere.

The collaboration with Susquehanna County gives her a rare opportunity to put a "face on a research problem," Kishore says.

"As researchers, we very often work on theoretical problems. But theories need to be tested. This project allows us to test theories on a county with a distinct topography and distinct demographics.

"More than that, we get to solve problems that have interesting applications for real people. This project has enabled me to meet a lot of new people I didn’t expect to meet."

Located along the eastern edge of Pennsylvania’s long boundary with New York State, Susquehanna County contains 823 square miles, a population of 42,000 and a population density of 51 people per square mile. Only 30 percent of its residents live in the county’s six largest towns.

Susquehanna County, which advertises itself as the gateway to Pennsylvania’s "Endless Mountains," has a rugged terrain that is not hospitable to the laying of cable and wires. It does not have full cellular coverage or reliable 9-1-1 service. A satellite provides low-bit-rate coverage but at a high cost. One of the county’s six high schools has wi-fi (wireless local area network) Internet access, but overall, the county lacks localized broadband access, and its wireless links are poor.

"Because of this lack of access, the county’s residents feel they are being left behind the times," says Kishore, who was introduced to Susquehanna County the old-fashioned way - by friends and relatives who live there.

"They believe attracting Internet providers will help Susquehanna County achieve its goal of diversifying its economy and attracting more small businesses."

As part of her research project, Kishore will travel to Susquehanna County to conduct workshops and short courses for high school students, teachers, librarians and other residents on wireless technology and wireless possibilities. She will help residents develop and implement a plan to improve the county’s wireless communications infrastructure and to adapt the technology to the peculiar needs of the county.

Kishore expects county residents to seek a wide range of applications for the new technology. The county’s volunteer companies have told Kishore they would like to be able to communicate wirelessly with each other during emergencies. Hunters and farmers might want to investigate wi-fi GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities. Students will likely want to install wi-fi Internet access at their high schools.

The other part of Kishore’s project is to test and refine the multitier wireless networks that she believes are best suited to provide Susquehanna County with wireless communications and Internet access.

Multitier wireless technology, says Kishore, simultaneously provides ubiquitous low-rate coverage and targeted high-speed access through a network of base stations and user terminals, also called radios. The radios are designed with coverage areas that vary in their order of magnitude, Kishore says. "Higher-tier radios" extend the network’s coverage area. "Lower-tier radios" target performance capabilities to specific locations.

One challenge for multitier wireless technology is to use as little bandwidth as possible. This is because the bandwidth allocated by the Federal Communications Commission is limited, requiring radios to utilize the same spectrum of bandwidth at the same time without interfering with each other.

Kishore’s goal is to optimize scarce bandwidth and minimize interference caused by reuse of the bandwidth spectrum across tiers. Her approach, she says, represents "a novel and expansive study of spectrally efficient multitier architectures.

"In the past, multitier systems have been studied primarily in the cellular context and assuming little or no spectral reuse across tiers," she wrote in her proposal to the National Science Foundation.

"As the types of services required from wireless networks become increasingly varied, it is critical to develop a general and unified framework for multitier systems - one that includes varying degrees of spectral reuse between tiers and addresses not only cellular networks but also more ad-hoc [temporary] configurations."

Kishore will study both centralized systems in which users communicate with fixed access points, then non-centralized architectures in which control is distributed among radios and ad-hoc connections are possible.

To minimize interference caused by high spectral reuse, she will explore analytical methods that account for signal processing, radio resource allocation, and access control techniques.

Kurt Pfitzer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www3.lehigh.edu/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>