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 New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

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

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>