New $ 25 million research center to study radio frequency spectrum | CU Boulder today

This ad has been adapted from a version published by the University of Notre Dame. Read the original story here.

CU Boulder researchers will participate in a $ 25 million effort to study an increasingly in demand natural resource: the radio frequency spectrum.

The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today the new initiative, called SpectreX. It will be led by the University of Notre Dame and will bring together experts from 29 organizations to transform the landscape of research, education, collaboration and spectrum management.

“We are delighted to be a premier partner in the inaugural NSF Spectrum Innovation Center,” said Terri Fiez, vice chancellor for research and innovation at CU Boulder. “CU Boulder’s diverse team of researchers, academic and industry partners, and federal laboratories, along with a unique entrepreneurial approach, truly embodies the spirit of collaboration and innovation that has become the hallmark of our business. research. “

Scott Palo with a little satellite called CubeSat. (Credit: College of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

In the United States and around the world, radio frequencies are assigned to a variety of services such as mobile broadband, broadcasting, and navigation (GPS) that are now common and widely used. But the increasing demands for commercial wireless services, especially 5G networks, as well as the increased needs of scientific, satellite and defense applications, among others, require paradigm shifts in radio spectrum management and in the coordination of radio spectrum. research and development around it.

Scott Palo, who leads CU Boulder’s work with the new center, said his team was “thrilled” to join other Colorado-based partners in SpectrumX. They include the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

“The radio spectrum is a valuable resource that is essential to the national competitiveness of the United States,” said Palo, professor in the Ann and HJ Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU Boulder. “CU is uniquely positioned to have a major impact on this issue through world-class research, workforce development, and private and public partnerships focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. . “

The NSF has entered into agreements with the NTIA, which regulates government use of radio spectrum, and the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates non-government use of spectrum, to help align investments in spectrum research, infrastructure and workforce development with US spectrum regulation. and policy objectives, principles and strategies.

NSF is also developing a larger government task force and SpectrumX is forming an external advisory board. All of these groups will collaborate regularly with SpectrumX to improve the centre’s strategic planning and implementation of results.

“Given the importance and breadth of all of this work, we have a tremendous opportunity to prepare a diverse workforce of diverse, civic and committed scientists, engineers, economists and policy makers to globally in the field, ”said Nick Laneman, director of SpectrumX. , co-director of the Wireless Institute of Notre Dame and professor of electrical engineering.

Much of the current workforce is aging and the field has struggled to recruit top young talent, Laneman said. SpectrumX will address these concerns with a comprehensive education and workforce development program, starting in middle and high school classrooms and extending through undergraduate and graduate studies to prepare for graduates. students in spectrum innovation, management and economic development.

“Radio spectrum congestion is a major challenge for science and for all sectors of society and the economy,” said Jonathan Williams, NSF program manager. “This SpectrumX NSF spectrum innovation center will be a critical national center for spectrum research and development to help overcome the challenges of interference and radio spectrum scarcity. “

SpectrumX partners are Agnes Scott College, Clemson University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New York University, Norfolk State University, Northwestern University, Olin College of Engineering, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Stanford University, Texas Tech University, University at Albany, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Pittsburgh, University of Puerto Rico de Mayaguez, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of the Virgin Islands, University of Virginia, University of the West Indies and Virginia Diodes Inc.

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