Flux Research Group / School of Computing

Towards using the POWDER platform for RF propagation validation

Jose Monterroso, Jacobus (Kobus) Van der Merwe, Kirk Webb, and Gary Wong

Workshop on Computer and Networking Experimental Research using Testbeds (CNERT) 2021.

Testbeds, Mobile Networking


The need to find more efficient ways to share and use wireless spectrum has resulted in renewed interest in radio frequency (RF) propagation modeling. The open and programmable nature of the POWDER (Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research) mobile and wireless platform offers a unique environment in which to test and validate RF propagation modeling approaches. In this paper we present our work illustrating how POWDER based RF measurements can be performed, as a form of “ground truth”, and compared with predicted RF signal strength based on a propagation model. We make use of the Shout RF measurement framework available on POWDER to perform a series of RF measurements. We compare these measurements with predicted power levels using the open source RF Signal Propagation, Loss, And Terrain (SPLAT!) analysis tool. We present our results and a brief terrain analysis to provide real-world context for it. Our work is “packaged” as a POWDER profile to allow others to repeat our analysis and to serve as a starting point for further RF measurement and propagation related research.