NWACC/PSU SDR

Welcome to the Portland State University Software Defined Radio project. This project is led by the PSU Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and has been funded by a generous grant from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium and from Google through the Google/PSU Summer of Code program. This Wiki collaborative site is a place for project contributors to work and for others to see what we're up to.

Our NWACC grant is $10,000 to build "Applications of Open Software Defined Radio". The lead Principal Investigator is PSU Prof. Bart Massey; the other PIs are PSU Profs. Jim Binkley and Warren Harrison and PSU student and City of Portland communications professional Glenn LeBrasseur. Of course, a variety of PSU students will do the vast majority of the real work.

SDR is a cool technology. Basically, attach an absurdly high-bandwidth DAC and/or ADC to a computer, and do all the modulation/demodulation and encoding/decoding in software. This gives tremendous flexibility in deployment, and great opportunities for research and education.

One ongoing task is to identify the specific hardware we need and select vendors. We are building on the work of the GNU Radio project, using their Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), TX and RX daughterboards, and appropriate RF frontends for the frequency bands that we care about. USRP units and basic daughterboards are available from Ettus Research.

Status

12 September 2005:
Our Summer of Code work students reported out September 1. This means that we have three projects in a somewhat working state. In addition a new undergraduate student, Jules Kongslie, got involved this Summer and did some cool work. As a result, we currently have 4 projects in a "working" experimental state:
02 July 2005:
Main.JameySharp and Main.SarahBailey just installed GNU Radio on Sarah's new Debian system. We took notes.
26 June 2005:
Today Main.JameySharp demonstrated for the first time receiving commercial AM radio broadcasts. We have working hardware!
16 June 2005:
We received the USRPs approximately 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the BasicTX and BasicRX daughterboards were on hold. Last night Main.JameySharp brought the USRP up and demonstrated communication with a laptop by turning the blinky-lights on and off. This morning, the daughterboards arrived. We have hardware!

Project Pages

References