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The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) RFP is now live! Click here to login and view the RFP.

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.

Valley of Death

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.

Are you interested in knowing more? Check out our FAQs and join our mailing list.

PAWR RFP

We have announced the release of the PAWR Program’s Preliminary Request for Proposals (RFP) – responses are due on June 1, 2017 at 6 pm Eastern Time. Please visit this link to access the PAWR Preliminary RFP and Other Information:

PAWR RFP LOGIN

Please note that the PAWR Project Office is using RFP365 to manage the RFP process. You will need to create a free account with RFP365 in order to access the RFP and other information documents and submit your RFP response. If you experience any issues creating a RFP365 account, please download and review the RFP365 Account Creation Guide or email [email protected].

We have released two supplemental documents to assist you with your RFP response.

  • To view the RFP – please click here.
  • Click here to download Other Information supporting the RFP.
  • We have also created a list of RFP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). To view the FAQs, please click here.

PAWR Proposers' Day - Thursday, April 27 in Arlington, VA

Join the PAWR Project Office on April 27 at the Hyatt Centric Arlington as we present a unique opportunity to learn more details about the PAWR program goals and process, including:

  • PAWR RFP, requirements, and timeline
  • Technical focus areas for the emerging solutions that PAWR seeks to support
  • Research goals for advanced wireless use cases
  • PPO's role and organization during project selection and project execution
  • “Office hours” with members of the PAWR Project Office to answer any questions
  • “Teaming hours” for attendees to explore opportunities to partner with each other (e.g., a community seeking researchers, or researchers seeking community assistance)

PAWR Proposers' Day will be a full-day event (10:00AM -5:00PM ET) followed by an evening reception/cash bar. We anticipate leaders from local governments, universities, industry, and other stakeholders will attend. Registration for the event is free.

See you at PAWR Proposers' Day on April 27!

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About

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.

  • Increases in Internet traffic place never-before-imagined demands on conventional 4G LTE networks and public WiFi networks, which may not be able to keep pace with the growing demand.
  • Wireless carriers, device and equipment vendors, and researchers around the world are looking toward the next generation of wireless technologies (popularly called ‘5G’) and beyond to support this unparalleled growth in devices and traffic.
  • Over the last year, a new Industry Consortium comprising more than 25 leading networking vendors, device manufacturers, and wireless carriers has been established to support the PAWR effort, garnering approximately $50 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
  • Last year, the United States became the first country in the world to make vast quantities of high-frequency millimeter wave spectrum – frequencies that have the ability to send large amounts of data quickly but that don’t travel as far as the lower-frequency waves used today in 4G networks – available for both licensed and unlicensed use.
  • This newly available millimeter wave spectrum, in combination with other spectrum already available, promises to enable faster speeds and increased capacity in future wireless networks.
  • Research conducted on PAWR platforms will advance robust new wireless devices, communication techniques, networks, systems, and services that will revolutionize the Nation’s wireless ecosystem.
  • PAWR will enable rapid commercialization of promising technologies, provide hands-on practical training to a new generation of graduate students, increase job opportunities, and support overall economic vitality.
  • The results from this effort will sustain US leadership and economic competitiveness in wireless communications and technology for the next decade and beyond.

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What Comes Next? Designing, developing, deploying, and operating the platforms for advanced wireless research:

  • The PPO, in conjunction with the PAWR Industry Consortium and NSF, is developing a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will call for teams of communities and research universities to propose the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of multiple platforms for advanced wireless research across the country. For academic or municipal leaders interested in submitting a PAWR proposal, we anticipate hosting a Proposers’ Day in the Washington, DC, area after the PAWR RFP is announced. If you are interested, please fill out the form in the “Get Involved” section of this site and we will notify you when registration for that event is available.
  • The PPO anticipates re-issuing the RFP annually on an as-needed basis and subject to the availability of funds to reflect the nature of the contributions from the PAWR Industry Consortium and planned investment by NSF. It is anticipated that the PPO will have annual deadlines for submission during each of the first three years (i.e., 2017, 2018, and 2019).
  • Each year, following receipt of proposals in response to the RFP, the PPO will run a merit review process, comparable to that of NSF, to evaluate the submitted proposals.
  • The awardees of the RFP will be selected based on the merit review process, in consultation with NSF and the PAWR Industry Consortium.
  • Selected awardees of the RFP will be sub-awardees of the PPO.
  • The announcement of the subawardees for the first research platforms is anticipated in early 2018. The location(s) of the platform(s) will be announced at that time.
  • It is anticipated that the first set of platforms for advanced wireless research will be available for use by late 2019 or early 2020.

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Research atop PAWR

  • The PPO is responsible for allocating and managing time for experimentation on the platforms for advanced wireless research.
  • The allocation of time will be shared equally between industry and NSF-supported academic researchers and will be complementary. Allocations to NSF-supported researchers will advance fundamental knowledge in the long term, while allocations to industry researchers will accelerate nearer-term research and development activities.
  • NSF anticipates issuing a solicitation calling for proposals from the academic community to support basic research on the platforms by early 2020.

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About PAWR Project Office


The Platform for Advanced Wireless Research Project Office (PPO) manages $100 million public-private partnership and will oversee the research 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 part through the Industry Consortium, in the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of the research platforms.The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program is jointly supported by the National Science Foundation and a wireless Industry Consortium to create community-scale research platforms to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies.

US Ignite, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies that build the foundation for smart communities.

Northeastern University is a global, experiential research university. Northeastern is the recognized leader in experiential learning, powered by the world’s most innovative cooperative-education program.

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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

mmWave

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

Dynamic Spectrum

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

Architecture

Architecture to test data network architectures for next-generation networks that operate with a wireless edge.

Mobility-at-Scale

Mobility-at-Scale

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

Wide-area Whitespace

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

Network Metrology

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.

City-scale Testbed

Applications/Services in later years

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:

  • Mobile phones and tablets that can download full length HD movies in less than 5 seconds, 100 times faster than 4G (6 minutes) and 25,000 times faster than 3G (26 hours).
  • First responders and emergency room doctors who get live, real-time video and sensor data from police vehicles, ambulances, and drones, along with patient vitals and medical records—all before the patient arrives at the hospital door.
  • Semi- or fully-autonomous vehicles that can communicate with the outside world and with each other to improve travel efficiency and safety.
  • Factories equipped with always-connected smart manufacturing equipment that self-diagnose and repair themselves before they break.
  • Gigabit-speed wireless broadband available in businesses, public transportation stations, stadiums, campuses, schools, malls, parks, and other public spaces.
  • Virtual reality training environments and simulators that allow entry-level workers to develop and demonstrate skills in high-demand fields like solar energy installation—anytime, from anywhere.

See what PAWR’s research efforts could bring in the next decade.

PPO Team

The PAWR Project Office is led by a team from both US Ignite, Inc., and Northeastern University

Bryan Mikesh

Bryan Mikesh
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

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.

William Wallace

William Wallace
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.

Joe Kochan

Joe Kochan
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 Melodia

Tommaso Melodia
Research Director

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.

Kaushik Chowdhury

Kaushik Chowdhury
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.

Stefano Basagni

Stefano Basagni
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 Maynard, PhD

Nick Maynard
Consortium Director

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.

William Maguire

William Maguire
Community Director

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 Jemison

Nancy Jemison
Finance Director

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 Veeraragavan

Senthil Veeraragavan
Engineering Director

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

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PPO Partners

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:

  • Nokia Bell Labs
  • Samsung
  • Keysight
  • National Instruments
  • Ericsoon
  • Sprint
  • Oracle
  • Juniper
  • CommScope
  • Viavi Solutions
  • Interdigital
  • Intel
  • Qualcomm
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • CTIA
  • HTC America
  • Shared Spectrum
  • Carlson Wireless
  • ATIS
  • TIA
  • Anritsu
  • Fiber Tower
  • Crown Castle

Get Involved

If you are interested in joining this effort, fill out this information, and we will be in touch with you.


FAQ

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:

  1. Please describe the overall PAWR timeline?

    Designing, developing, deploying, and operating the platforms for advanced wireless research:

    • Within less than four months of its establishment (i.e., from March 8), the PPO will develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) calling for teams of communities and research universities to propose the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of multiple platforms for advanced wireless research across the country. For academic researchers or municipal leaders interested in submitting a PAWR proposal, we anticipate hosting a Proposers’ Day in the Washington, DC, area after the PAWR RFP is announced. If you are interested, please fill out the form in the “Get Involved” section of this site to join our mailing list. and we will notify you when registration for that event is available
    • The PPO anticipates re-issuing the RFP annually on an as-needed basis and subject to the availability of funds to reflect the nature of the contributions from the PAWR Industry Consortium and planned investment by NSF. It is anticipated that the PPO will have annual deadlines for submission during each of the first three years (i.e., 2017, 2018, and 2019).
    • Each year, following receipt of proposals in response to the RFP, the PPO will run a merit review process, comparable to that of NSF, to evaluate the submitted proposals.
    • The awardees of the RFP will be selected based on the merit review process, in consultation with NSF and the PAWR Industry Consortium.
    • Selected awardees of the RFP will be sub-awardees of the PPO.
    • The announcement of the subawardees for the first research platforms is anticipated early next year (2018). The location(s) of the platform(s) will be announced at that time.
    • It is anticipated that the first set of platforms for advanced wireless research will be available for use by late 2019 or early 2020.

    PAWR timeline


    Research atop PAWR:

    • The PPO is responsible for allocating and managing time for experimentation on the platforms for advanced wireless research.
    • The allocation of time will be shared equally between industry and NSF-supported academic researchers and will be complementary. Allocations to NSF-supported researchers will advance fundamental knowledge in the long term, while allocations to industry researchers will accelerate nearer-term research and development activities.
    • NSF anticipates supporting the academic community to conduct fundamental research atop the platforms beginning in early 2020.
    • Funding for research on top of the platforms will be separate from the funding for the platforms.
  2. How would you characterize the research platforms and how many will there be?

    • We anticipate 4 locations focusing on mid-sized cities or mid-sized areas within larger cities.
    • The research platforms will be built on software-defined radios – devices capable of operating across multiple radio frequencies and connected via a programmable back-end network infrastructure with access to high-speed network connectivity such as Internet2 or other backhaul (i.e., not production networks).
    • Researchers will be able to take advantage of the multi-use capability of the research platform by “plugging in” additional experimental technologies.
    • RFPs will seek proposed platforms that have the capability to support a minimum number of research topic areas (e.g., mmWave, Dynamic Spectrum, Architecture) plus other topic areas as proposed by respondents.
    • Proposed experimental research platforms will allow researchers to validate cutting-edge technologies (e.g., radio layer, protocol, sensors, core architecture), spectrum usage paradigms, application performance, and/or service behavior.
  3. What are some of the platform research topics likely to be? How fixed are these vs. open to change or modification?

    • There will be a minimum of 6-7 likely platform research topics, each spanning a broad research area. Note that we intend for these research platforms to enable fundamental, pre-competitive research on topics that will support advanced wireless networking innovations, along with potential competitive research led by members of the industry consortium.
    • These topics are not fixed; the expectation is that PIs, industry, and communities will be able to refine and add to these research topics to ensure that they benefit the US wireless ecosystem. Topics may include:

      1. mm-waves
      2. dynamic spectrum
      3. very long-range backhaul
      4. network architecture
      5. large-scale mobility
      6. wireless network (e.g. cellular) measurements
      7. other topics suggested by PIs, industry, and communities
  4. How do you envision these research platforms interacting with corporate (e.g., private) testbeds?

    • Given the focus on pre-competitive research, we expect the outcomes from these research platforms to feed into corporate/private testbeds that focus on competitive research and associated intellectual property (IP) attributes.
    • We also expect that these research platforms will act as fertile testing grounds for large-scale validation of industry equipment/algorithms/architectures that may not be feasible with smaller private testbeds.
  5. Can companies still join the industry consortium?

    • Yes. For more information, please contact the PPO via the “Get Involved” section of the website.
  6. What benefits does a company get by joining the industry consortium?

    • Help to sustain US industry leadership.
    • Shape design of research platforms.
    • Expand education of next-generation of wireless experts
    • Enable technology transfer from academia to industry and ultimately commercialization.
    • Secure cutting-edge research returns well in excess of initial investment.
  7. How will the PAWR effort and the Project Office be evaluated for success?

    • An external PAWR Steering Council (PSC) will be established by May 2017 to provide advice on the operations of the PPO. The PSC will consist of leaders in wireless research from academic, industry, government, and communities across the US. Each research platform will also have an external User Advisory Council to provide continued inputs on the research scope and foci of the platforms during the operations of the platforms. The PPO will solicit community feedback via various avenues on an ongoing basis. NSF will also conduct its own ongoing evaluation of the PPO to ensure that the goals of the Project Office continue to be met at all times.


Questions relating to the Requests for Proposals that will be released by the PPO:

  1. What is the role of PPO in the design of the research platforms?

    • The PPO will develop general design specifications (i.e., a framework for the design of the research platforms), with input from NSF, the research community, and the industry consortium. It will share these as part of the RFP process. The proposers will propose specific designs for the individual research platforms, utilizing that framework.
  2. Can local corporate sponsors participate in the city-university research platform (design, development, and deployment) proposals? Can industry contribute to a proposal without being part of the Industry Consortium described in the solicitation?

    • Local for-profit and non-profit partners are welcomed (and in fact, encouraged) to the extent that they enhance the capabilities, reach, and sustainability of a proposed research platform. Industry Consortium members may not participate in platform proposals, given their role in funding the platforms; other companies may choose to collaborate directly with the individual proposers.
  3. Can Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) participate in the design, development, and deployment of the research platforms and/or in conducting experiments on the research platforms once they are operational? How about federal laboratories?

    • The proposer lead will be defined in the solicitation and may consist of universities and non-profit organizations only. It is anticipated that each subsequently-funded research platform will comprise a city-university team; this team may also involve corporate partners, FFRDCs, and federal labs. Similarly, FFRDCs and federal labs may participate in conducting experiments on the eventual research platforms. However, note that NSF funding to FFRDCs and federal labs is provided only under unique circumstances, as specified in NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (see https://nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/index.jsp).).
  4. Has there been thought as to how to make the research platforms “living”/dynamically adaptable?

    • Yes, staying current with rapidly evolving technologies will be essential to the long-term utility and success of the research platforms, including sustenance. Plans to address this requirement will be a key review criterion in the evaluation of future research platform proposals (to be submitted in response to RFPs).
  5. Will there be review criteria for the research platform proposals that go beyond the technical details of setting up the research platforms? For example, will the review process consider a given proposing team’s capacity to provide local community services/impact?

    • Consideration will be given to the positive impacts of a given research platform on the community proposing to host it – not only in terms of potential pilot deployments of advanced technologies, but also with respect to jobs, workforce development, and economic competitiveness, for example. This consideration will take place in the context of the core focus of the research platforms (i.e., to support fundamental, pre-competitive research with the goal of quickly identifying technologies with potential commercialization opportunities). Please note that provision of commercial-grade local community services is not an immediate goal of the PAWR effort.
  6. In terms of team structure, whom do you anticipate leading the teams charged with designing, developing, and deploying the research platforms (e.g., cities or universities)?

    • Either a city or a university may lead a proposing team; each proposal must make the case that the lead is capable of following through on the design, development, deployment, and operation of the proposed research platform.
  7. Can projects be led by independent non-profit organizations, given the emphasis on commercialization?

    • Yes, non-profits are eligible to apply as leads for research platform proposals. As a reminder, project proposals must clearly demonstrate that the chosen lead is the most capable to follow through on the design, development, and deployment of the proposed research platform.
  8. Is cost sharing allowed and/or included in the review process?

    • Cost sharing is not allowed.
  9. Can industry receive funding from NSF if collaborating on the research platform proposal?

    • NSF does not intend to provide funding to for-profit entities under the PAWR program. PAWR Industry Consortium members are not eligible to be named participants on any research platform proposal.
  10. How “small” is a small city? Is there any advantage to a rural area participating?

    • There are several problems of interest to rural areas that a small city/community may consider tackling as part of a research platform. However, as a critical mass of individuals is needed to test the research platforms (specific user densities are required to validate any testing), small cities/communities must demonstrate the presence of appropriate user densities that the follow-on research may require as part of the corresponding proposal. The emphasis is on city-scale, rather than ‘city size’.


Questions relating to the research to be enabled by the research platforms:

  1. Is it incumbent on potential users to learn how to use the research platform interfaces or will there be tutorials created/support provided?

    • As with any system, there will be a learning curve – but it is anticipated that the research platforms will have staff and tutorials to assist users and mitigate this learning curve. Past efforts such as GENI and related CISE research infrastructure projects have demonstrated that providing active user support is critical to ensuring widespread user adoption.
  2. Should we only think about short-term (three years or less until commercialization) projects to evaluate on the research platforms envisioned in the PAWR: PPO program solicitation?

    • Certainly not. The research platforms are meant to support fundamental, pre-competitive academic research, for which impacts may very well be realized 10 or more years into the future, i.e., well beyond the typical three-year duration of an NSF research grant.
  3. Do you envision following an approach by which experiments to be run on the research platforms are vetted in some way to determine their suitability?

    • Yes. Proposals will be reviewed by a Research Committee (of which the PPO is a member) to ensure research conducted on the platforms aligns with the goals of the PAWR program. Details of the criteria and process will be established by the PPO in consultation with NSF, the Industry Consortium, and relevant academic/community stakeholders.
  4. Is there a general sense of the geographic area to be covered by these research platforms (i.e., how large they should be)?

    • The answer to this question may vary depending on the goals and scope of each individual research platform. For a given research platform, the geographic area will be a function of the type of wireless networks that the research platform will feature, the scale of the networks, and the effort involved in setting up and maintaining a research platform of that scale.
  5. Are there any expectations as far as open interfaces for the research platforms?

    • The intent is for the research platforms to feature both open hardware and open software interfaces, and to be reusable by others.
  6. In what spectrum bands are the research platforms expected to operate, and will there be a need for licensing?

    • We expect the research platforms to use a diverse set of spectrum bands depending on the types of wireless networks to be supported. These can be anywhere between 300 MHz to 200 GHz. We expect the research platform proposers to be aware of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) spectrum policies: the FCC has created a new Program Experimental License that will allow for testing on a wide swath of frequencies. Proposers are expected to obtain such licenses and include these as part of their proposals to validate the feasibility of the proposed research platforms to work in the bands to be supported. The FCC website for receiving applications to this new Experimental License is expected to be online by the time the proposals for platforms are due. Specifically, as of March 8, 2017, the FCC has stated, “The FCC is in final beta testing of it new program license system. The new program license will allow qualified licensees to simply post proposed experiments on an FCC website for implementation over a defined geographic area under control of the licensee. If no objections to the experiment are received within a 10 to 15 day comment period, the licensee is authorized to proceed. This avoids a typical 4 to 6 week processing period and allows all interested parties including licensed stakeholders to be aware of proposed experiments of interest. In addition, the program license also supports use of Innovation Zones, innovation areas defined by industry or the Commission, which similarly permits innovators to proceed with experiments after posting a 10 to 15 day notice. The intent of the program license is to permit sources of innovation such as universities and R&D institutions to more quickly move forward with experiments. The FCC expects to release the system shortly upon completion of beta testing.”
  7. Can one do research on the design and development of the research platforms, or only as part of research projects to be enabled by the research platforms?

    • A mix of both is anticipated. These research platforms constitute research infrastructures for the wireless networking and communications research community. As the research platforms mature over time, they will support less research in the design and development aspects and more research as a result of the availability of the infrastructure.
  8. Are the research topic areas listed above the only areas of research NSF is interested in funding for the research platforms?

    • Neither NSF nor the PPO will predefine the research foci for the research platforms. We have provided sample research areas, but these are meant to be only examples. We do expect the research platforms to cover a wide range of emerging research areas.
  9. Is there an expectation that the research conducted on the platforms will inherently lead to commercialization in the short term?

    • PAWR is an open, pre-competitive, fundamental research effort. Both the PAWR Industry Consortium and NSF seek to explore a multitude of research concepts through these research platforms. There are no formal expectations of commercialization, but such outcomes would be encouraged as an end product.
  10. Is the PAWR program more engineering- or research-focused (e.g., GENI was more engineering-focused)?

    • This first part of the PAWR program is constituted by building the research platforms, which will involve a mix of engineering as well as research in infrastructure. The second part of the program will entail support for fundamental and applied research to be conducted on the research platforms.
  11. How will heterogeneity, security and privacy, and coexistence be addressed in these research platforms?

    • These are all critical questions that research in advanced networking should address. Proposers of the research platforms are encouraged to consider incorporating support for research on these vital questions as part of their design, development, and deployment.
  12. Shouldn’t we test existing ideas first, rather than call for new ones?

    • These do not need to be exclusive activities. The PAWR effort aims to explore research at scale in real-world settings outside of the laboratory. Existing ideas that have been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory environment will be able to use the envisioned research platforms to demonstrate viability at scale.
  13. How do you maintain mid- and long-term research projects while also accounting for public interest and the need to translate innovations to the marketplace quickly in order to justify local investment?

    • The research platforms are expected to serve the research communities for a decade or more, but the individual research projects that will be conducted on the research platforms can be short-, medium-, and/or long-term. The successful projects that deliver results in the short-term will constitute the immediate return on investment.
  14. Can multiple universities form a team to apply for a research platform?

    • Yes, given the scale of these research platforms, we anticipate such teaming arrangements.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CNS- 1719547. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.