PAWR program receives NSF funding to strengthen US 5G,6G wireless research efforts

PAWR program receives NSF funding to strengthen US 5G,6G wireless research efforts

The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office has announced that it’s received $2.8 million in new funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The new funding reflects the recent global interest in wireless research facilities and programs that expand researcher access to advanced network testing environments.

“In building the PAWR program from scratch, we have relied heavily on the support of our partners, not only in the form of financial investment but also in their contributions of time and expertise,” stated Mari Silbey, the PAWR program director.

This news follows the United States ban on importing or selling Chinese telecoms and video surveillance products from suppliers such as Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hikvision, and Dahua. They made the move in response to allegations of espionage and security threats posed by Chinese equipment.

PAWR is a public-private partnership focused on accelerating the development of advanced wireless technologies, such as 5G and 6G networks. The program provides researchers access to network testing environments across the US: Salt Lake City, Utah, New York City, the Research Triangle area of North Carolina and Austin, Texas.

Researchers can use the PAWR program’s testbeds to design and deploy various applications and services. These include edge computing, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote monitoring and street traffic pattern assessment.

“In building the PAWR program from scratch, we have relied heavily on the support of our partners — not only in terms of financial investments but also in their contributions of time and expertise,” explained Mari Silbey, the director of the PAWR program office. “We are now seeing concrete successes from our efforts and look forward to further progress in the future.”

The organization says that the PAWR program has a history of winning research-specific grants from multiple government agencies. Many other companies in its industry have aligned with the company, and it has gained The Colosseum. This emulator at Northeastern University can simulate any radio environment globally.

Further, the PAWR program has seen multiple successes, from developing a dynamic spectrum allocation system with the US Department of Defense to partnering with the O-RAN Alliance to test Open RAN technologies. It is also becoming a critical resource for RF data collection and application research, such as developing algorithms for optimizing radio performance, assessing street traffic patterns and using unmanned aerial vehicles for remote monitoring.

“We are excited by the accomplishments of the PAWR platforms and by the new research they are enabling across both industry and academia. In particular, we are pleased to see the PAWR program democratizing access to new researchers and expanding the geography of innovation,” added Martonosi. “PAWR helps America by facilitating the expansion of researchers who can now contribute to wireless innovation and also expanding the reach of America’s benefit from it.”

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