The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program is a joint effort by the National Science Foundation and a wireless Industry Consortium to create city-scale testing platforms to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies. The PAWR Project Office (PPO) is managing this $100 million public-private partnership to stand-up and oversee these eventual testing platforms. The PPO is run by US Ignite, Inc., and Northeastern University.
The PPO will collaborate closely with NSF, the wireless research community, local communities, and industry in the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of the research platforms. PAWR will enable experimental exploration of robust new wireless devices, communication techniques, networks, systems, and services that will revolutionize the nation’s wireless ecosystem, thereby enhancing broadband connectivity, leveraging the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), and sustaining US leadership and economic competitiveness for decades to come.
Once deployed, the platforms will address pre-competitive research challenges on at-scale research platforms, increasing education about wireless technologies and data networking, increasing academic-industry cooperative partnerships, and accelerating technology commercialization and transfer from academia to industry. In short, PAWR is designed to help overcome the so-called “valley of death” that sometimes limits breakthrough technology advancements.
Participating companies will benefit by: helping to sustain US industry leadership; shaping design of research platforms; and securing cutting-edge research returns well in excess of initial investment. Participating communities will benefit by: building core wireless capabilities through creative university partnerships; attracting government and corporate research funding and local wireless jobs; and utilizing advanced wireless capabilities to enhance city services and economic development.
Why Now? Over the last decade, the use of wireless, Internet-connected devices (e.g., smart phones, connected tablets, and wearables) in the United States has nearly doubled. As the momentum of this exponential growth continues, the transfer of ever-increasing amounts of data intensifies Internet traffic, and the need for increased capacity grows.
What Comes Next? Designing, developing, deploying, and operating the platforms for advanced wireless research:
Research atop PAWR
Example topic areas to be enabled by Research Platforms
It is anticipated that initial research on the PAWR platforms will address many novel wireless technologies and services. A few sample topic areas among these could be:
mmWave to enable R&D and systems testing at the millimeter-wave bands between 20 GHz and 200 GHz, with a target of 100 Gbps in data rates for small-cell networks that cover a few city blocks.
Dynamic Spectrum to focus on the spectral bands that are sub-6GHz, and aim to identify spectral opportunities in existing networks and establish usage models for novel spectrum-driven applications, while also studying co-existence and protection issues.
Architecture to test data network architectures for next-generation networks that operate with a wireless edge.
Mobility-at-Scale to address larger issues with network-mobility from the transport to MAC layers, including evaluation of large-scale, dense, heterogeneous wireless networks, including issues such as connection management, load balancing, and mobility management.
Wide-area Whitespace to utilize novel whitespace-based wireless networks to design, build and demonstrate 1Gbps connectivity to remote locations via long-range wireless mesh connections.
Network Metrology to advance capabilities to measure and monitor wireless network performance and support research on methods to improve the security, reliability and performance of wireless networks.
Platforms will serve as examples of Smart and Connected Community networks that demonstrate potential applications/services including Cyber-Physical Systems, Cyber-Security, Internet of Things, Robotics, Smart and Connected Health, and Big Data.
Collectively, these PAWR research efforts will accelerate the deployment of a new generation of super-fast, ultra-low latency, high-capacity networks will enable breakthrough applications for consumers, smart cities, and the Internet of Things that cannot even be imagined today.
Possible advances in the next decade could bring:
The PAWR Project Office is led by a team from both US Ignite, Inc., and Northeastern University
PAWR Project Director
Bryan Mikesh comes from the wireless test industry with 20+ years of test experience, and has joined the PAWR team as the PPO Project Director. Bryan is leading the PAWR Project Office, with responsibility for achieving the overall goal and vision for PAWR. Bryan is responsible for final decisions on budget, project execution, personnel, and strategy.
Abhimanyu (Manu) Gosain
Technical Program Director
Manu will serve as the Technical Program Director developing the reference PAWR architecture and services. He will also act as the liaison with other NSF large scale distributed platforms such as GENI, NSFCloud and Orbit.
Co-PI for Oversight
Bill will provide organizational leadership as Executive Director of US Ignite, serving on the PAWR Steering Council, and monitoring project delivery to ensure quality performance of the Project Director and PAWR team.
Co-PI for Management
Joe will oversee the teams in finance and communications supporting this project and provide liaison with the relevant DC associations and government teams. He will also coordinate the management processes for the PPO.
Tommaso will oversee the overall PAWR technical direction, platform architectures, and alignment with the PAWR vision of developing a shared, open, usable, diverse experimental facility that will support groundbreaking research in wireless networking. He will oversee the process of research allocation on the platforms as well as the evolution of platform research focus over time.
Academic Outreach Director
Kaushik will provide leadership, guidance, and outreach to academic wireless researchers nationwide to solicit feedback on platform design, and integrate the needs of research into PPO operations. He will oversee the development of technical capabilities and encourage experimentation with awarded platforms.
Co-PI for Platform Implementation
Stefano will work on outreach to the academic community, implementation of platforms, and serve as a liaison with other current and future investments in large-scale platforms nationwide.
Nick will manage and grow relationships with the more than 25 private industry PAWR partners, working with them to incorporate their input and guidance. He will also recruit new partners and work on platform sustainability efforts.
Bill will notify and educate communities about the opportunity to host a PAWR wireless research platform and will work to motivate local governments to respond to the PAWR RFP. Bill will design and execute a community engagement roadshow at the time of publication of each PAWR RFP and will engage with the Platform respondents to create the multi-stakeholder environment necessary for successful platforms.
Nancy is responsible for ensuring the PAWR Project Office and its subawardees understand and are compliant with Federal rules and US Ignite policies and procedures.
Senthil will manage Engineering, Deployment and Operational support (through the winning bidders) of the PAWR Platforms to the requisite standards as set forth by the PPO along with the management of the in-kind equipment and services contribution from the industry consortium
Reflecting the importance of the PAWR platforms to the development of wireless technology, NSF and more than 25 private-sector companies and associations in the US wireless industry will cumulatively provide approximately $100 million in cash and in-kind support to the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of the PAWR platforms:
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If you are a potential proposer or team of proposers (i.e., university/city/local companies) interesting in responding to the PAWR RFP, please fill out this information and we will be in touch with you:
If you are a company and are interested in joining this effort, fill out this information, and we will be in touch with you:
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The PAWR Project Office will collaborate closely with NSF, the wireless research community, local communities, and industry in the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of the research platforms. FAQs are listed below:
Questions relating to overall PAWR strategy and timing:
Questions relating to the Requests for Proposals that will be released by the PPO:
Questions relating to the research to be enabled by the research platforms: