Communications Engineering Lab

Software Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio

The vision behind software radio is to realize a radio’s communication specific signal processing, e.g. modulation, channel equalization and channel coding, as far as possible in software. Ideally, customized hardware could be replaced by a general purpose processor with D/A- and A/D-converters and amplifiers. This allows for highly flexible usage of the hardware, as signal processing is carried out as algorithms on the general pupose processor.

The CEL has been continuously involved in SDR projects since 1996. Based on this experience, CEL is now pursuing the evolution of software radios towards cognitive radios. Cognitive radios are self-learning intelligent software radios which are able to monitor their environment and to adapt to the actual conditions such as standards, channel properties, etc.

Due to the vast software and hardware infrastructure available at the CEL, multiple research projects in the scope of software and cognitive radios are possible. Models and algorithms can be investigated using simulations. We have access to large software libraries to describe transmission systems. Additionally, the available hardware - Universal Software Radio Peripherals (USRPs) from Ettus Research - allow testing and experiment validation of the algorithms.