POWDER (the Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research) is a facility for experimenting on the future of wireless networking in a city-scale “living laboratory.” Visit the POWDER portal.
POWDER is an end-to-end platform for research on mobile wireless networks. It provides radios that are programmable down to the waveform, attached to a network that can be configured by the user, connected to a wide variety of compute, storage, and cloud resources. Researchers can use this platform to build their own wireless networks, using existing protocols or technologies (such as 4G and MIMO), up-and-coming ones (such as 5G and massive MIMO), or new ones that they invent and build from the ground up. In this environment, they can experiment with novel networks, devices, and applications.
POWDER will be built over a 10 km² area of Salt Lake City, encompassing the downtown area, the University of Utah campus, and a residential neighborhood. This area includes a variety of terrain types, building sizes, and densities, making for a dynamic environment in which to perform real experiments. Within the area, there will be dozens of fixed stations and a hundred couriers, such as buses and utility vehicles, carrying mobile devices around the city. The result is that Salt Lake City will be transformed into a “living lab” for research in mobile wireless networking.
POWDER is run by the University of Utah in partnership with Salt Lake City and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network. In addition to state-of-the-art off-the-shelf equipment, POWDER will deploy cutting-edge radio hardware and software being developed by the RENEW team led by Rice University.