Wireless Core Laboratory
The Wireless Core Laboratory provides shared space, equipment, and staff supporting research and education in the areas of wireless communications and networking. Areas of speciality include advanced communication architectures such as multihop relaying and dynamic spectrum access; multiple-antenna signal processing techniques for signal transmission, detection, and interference mitigation; modern error-control coding techniques such as turbo codes and low density parity check (LDPC) codes; and novel transceiver architectures such as software-defined radio. Half of the 1000 square foot laboratory is available for course instruction and training in addition to research activities. The Wireless Core Laboratory was established in late 1999 with an award from the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program, and it has expanded thanks to subsequent funding from the US Army, NSF, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
The Wireless Core Laboratory contains a wide array of equipment and work stations used to develop and test novel transceiver architectures and demonstrate research algorithms, for example:
- Radio frequency (RF) test and measurement equipment including vector and network analyzers, arbitrary waveform generators, wideband analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters, and high-speed oscilloscopes
- A soldering station and a parts inventory for hardware prototyping of RF tranceivers
- Software-defined radio platforms such as the Ettus Universal Software Radio Platform (USRP) version 1 and 2 and the Rice WARP platform and associated software development tools
- Ten computer workstations with appropriate modeling, simulation, and design tools.
A full-time lab engineer fuels prototyping efforts and manages day-to-day operation of the laboratory.
NDMesh is a wireless mesh and sensor network, funded by the Office of Naval Research, currently being deployed across rooftops on the campus of Notre Dame. By the time of completion, the testbed will include 30 stationary mesh routers. Further, more than 50 mesh clients dedicated to research and education purposes will be used. Apart from these dedicated mesh clients, the network will be open for other personal devices used by students, faculty, and staff for a variety of application scenarios (Internet access, social networking, etc.). While an increasing number of cities offer mesh networks, access to these networks is very constrained, limiting their usefulness for research and education purposes. NDMesh will be fully accessible to the investigators providing them the ability to perform any desired research and education projects. Further, experience shows that university students are very eager to participate and contribute to projects, experiments, and application development. For example, NDMesh will serve as an outdoor extension to the existing indoor wireless network at Notre Dame, providing wireless access to every corner on campus. In return, the investigators will be able to log network and user activity on the mesh routers for real-time management, but also retrospective analysis. Note, however, that future expansion of the network into the City of South Bend is currently being considered. The router configuration includes 2 WiFi radios (2.4GHz and 5GHz), a Zigbee radio (for sensor network applications), GPS, 8GB of storage, a solar energy kit.
Center for Research Computing
The Center for Research Computing (CRC) at the University of Notre Dame is dedicated to providing access and management of large arrays of computation and storage nodes for researchers at Notre Dame. CRC manages roughly 1000 plus CPUs consisting of a mix of dual and quad-core machines with a fully intermeshed 10 Gig network. CRC also provides a fully backed up set of storage consisting of scratch storage (30 TB) and AFS storage (48 TB). The CRC maintains a high speed connection to Internet 2 (Abilene) for the purposes of inter-institutional data sharing.
CRC's High Performance Computing equipment is located at the Union Station facility in downtown South Bend, Indiana. Global Access Point manages the infrastructure of that building and leases the datacenter floor space occupied by the CRC to the University. The Union Station facility provides all the necessary power, power conditioning, heating/cooling and backup power supply required by the CRC. Physical security of the facility is provided by state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. Portions of the equipment, most notably the disk cache and tape silo for storage archive/backup, are located on the ND campus for purposes of data redundancy.