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Software Defined Radio (SDR) Lab


Wireless Institute’s Software Defined Radio (SDR) Lab provides platforms and testbed capability based on National Instrument’s (NI) integrated hardware and software solution for rapidly prototyping high-performance wireless communication systems. The SDR Lab has numerous USRP RIO (USRP-2953R, with GPS clock) 2×2 MIMO hardware units, the LabVIEW Communications environment for rapid prototyping and algorithm flow to the FPGA-SDRs, the LTE and 802.11 Application Software Frameworks and multiple PXI Express chassis. The SDR Lab provides modular and reconfigurable hardware to create large-scale testbeds for various applications. New algorithms can be theorized, developed and validated rapidly in this lab.

Strong Support from National Instruments

The SDR Lab is a distinctive NI user, with strong support from National Instruments. Our SDR equipment is state-of-the-art and similar modules and configurations have been used by leading industry players to prototype, test and demo their 5G platforms. Besides the core SDR solution, this wireless-focused laboratory also supports a broad range of experimental communications-related research. Staffed by a full-time technician, the laboratory includes vector network analysis to 50 GHz, time and frequency-domain signal capture and analysis, as well as facilities for modulating, generating and receiving waveforms into the GHz range. The laboratory includes numerous high-speed oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and systems for bit-error analysis.


The SDR Lab has been instrumental for many Wireless Institute projects and publications, some of which are:

  • 802.11ax: An Uplink MU-MIMO SDR Testbed
  • SBXG: A Proof of Concept Testbed towards a larger platform for advanced wireless research 
  • An LTE-Based Wideband Distributed Spectrum Sharing Architecture Scenario Based Learning Methods for STEM
  • Drone Sounder (includes SDR based bi-directional Tx-Rx)
  • SDR Prototyping projects 

Sponsors and Investigators

The SDR Lab was established in 2003 and has equipment from projects sponsored by and with industry collaboration from InterDigital and National Instruments to the sum of over half a million dollars. The PI’s for the SDR Lab are J. Nicholas Laneman and Thomas Pratt.