Kostas Research Institute Receives $13M U.S. Army Contract for Wireless Research

The Kostas Research Institute (KRI) at Northeastern University has been awarded $13 million by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory for foundational research into Cognitive Distributed Sensing in Congested Radio Frequency Environments. This contract will fund the first year of a planned four-year research program anticipated to be funded up to $47.4 million. Led by KRI, the program is a collaboration among five universities—Northeastern University, Northern Arizona University, University of Houston, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and University of North Texas. Deniz Erdogmus, professor of electrical and computer engineering and chief technology officer for KRI, is the principal investigator of research activities at Northeastern.

“There is a significant need to advance distributed machine learning and signal processing algorithms,” says Erdogmus, “as well as secure and reliable computational, sensing, and communication hardware infrastructure in support of distributed sensing and communication. KRI at Northeastern University and partner institutions will conduct innovative research to enable technologies that meet these challenges.”

The Cognitive Distributed Sensing in Congested Radio Frequency Environments program consists of multiple projects pursuing complementary research directions in wireless networking, signal processing for distributed sensing and communications, hardware, algorithms, and radiofrequency engineering innovation to enable the operation of distributed wireless sensing networks. The projects address three primary thrusts:

    • Cognitive sensing and communications
      This thrust area examines the hardware and data necessary to enable machine learning in cognitive sensing and communications—for example, applications involving spectrum sharing to make efficient use of the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Distributed sensing and communications
      This thrust area addresses the challenges of using synchronization to reduce or eliminate latency in wireless systems, achieving performance and reliability comparable to wired systems.
    • Proactive sensing and communications
      This thrust area is focused on anticipating changing conditions in the radiofrequency spectrum and acting in advance to guarantee successful communication despite potential interference.

The program relies heavily on, and benefits from, unique Northeastern facilities like Colosseum, the world’s most powerful wireless system emulator; and the Expeditionary Cyber Unmanned Aerial Systems Research and Development Facility, an indoor-outdoor drone testing range equipped with a Faraday cage and anechoic chamber. Both are co-located with KRI at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The research effort draws on the expertise of College of Engineering faculty, primarily from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, including Professor Kaushik Chowdhury; Professor Deniz Erdogmus; Professor Josep Jornet; William Lincoln Smith Professor Tommaso Melodia; Professor Matteo Rinaldi; Professor Milica Stojanovic; Associate Professor Pau Closas; Associate Professor Edwin Marengo; Associate Professor Gunar Schirner; Assistant Professor David M. Rosen, jointly appointed in mathematics; and Assistant Professor Lili Su. Also participating are Professor Rifat Sipahi and Associate Professor Laurent Lessard of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, as well as Assistant Professor Aanjhan Ranganathan of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences.

Related Faculty: Deniz Erdogmus, Gunar Schirner, Kaushik Chowdhury

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering