Networking Over White Spaces (KNOWS)

The next generation of wireless networks will include software defined radios, cognitive radios, and multi-radio systems which will co-exist harmoniously while operating over a very wide range of frequencies. Under the umbrella of the KNOWS project we are revisiting "classical" wireless networking problems and designing new solutions that incorporate and build upon recent advances in software and hardware technologies for networking over the recently opened white spaces spectrum.

We have deployed base stations on two different buildings within the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. These base stations operate over the white spaces, and provide coverage to nearly all of campus. We have also deployed a mobile client on a Microsoft shuttle, which bridges packets from white spaces to Wi-Fi within the shuttle, thereby providing Internet connectivity to existing laptops. As part of the deployment, we have also built a research prototype of a white space database, which is hosted at: http://whitespaces.msresearch.us

Deployment History

August 14, 2010. Demonstrated shuttle network and techniques on avoiding MIC interference to FCC Chairman Genachowski and Managing Director Steven VanRoekel.

April 29, 2010. Demonstrated shuttle network and techniques on avoiding MIC interference to a delegation from the FCC. The ex-parte is available here.

March 10, 2010. Demonstrated shuttle network to a delegation from Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)

February 2, 2010. Demonstrated shuttle network to a delegation from Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações Brazil (ANATEL) Brazil including Max Martinhão, the General Manager for Radio Frequency Spectrum in Brazil

January 14, 2010. Demonstrated network to a delegation from Fisher Communications, Inc. (KOMO TV-ABC & KUNP TV—Univision) including Senior Vice President of Operation Robert I. Dunlop

January 11, 2010. Demonstrated network to a delegation from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) China including Deputy Director General of Science and Technology China, Mr. Wang Lian

Octber 22, 2009. Demonstrated network to a delegation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) including Chariperson Dr. J. S. Sarma.

October 16, 2009.  Reached a significant and historic milestone! Successfully deployed WSN between buildings on Microsoft's Redmond Campus.  To the best of our knowledge this is the first urban WSN. (Click here for deployment pictures)

Technologies tested include:

    • An opportunistic data network in the UHF and VHF bands
    • Channel occupancy database service with real-time Longley-Rice RF propagation modeling over NASA Terrain Data
    • Coexistence with wireless microphones
    • Handling mobile clients
    • Varying channel widths to accommodate varying needs of the application

July 15, 2009  Outdoor tests succeeded. Achieved communications with 1% BER between white spaces devices transmitting at 100 mW and separated by more than 0.5 Km.  Tests proved that enterprise wireless network coverage can be significantly enhanced with a combination of Wi-Fi & White-Fi.

July 6, 2009 Received FCC experimental license to test a deployment of a white space network.

June 30, 2009 Version 1 of our channel occupancy database came online

January 15, 2009 Demonstrated a fast channel discovery algorithm (a.k.a SIFT) and an efficient channel assignment algorithm (a.k.a. MCHAM) to achieve high throughput in a WSN

October 23, 2008 Happy birthday! the first white space network (WSN) is alive and kicking!  Successfully demonstrated a network of five nodes commuicating over the UHF white spaces. The network was built in our lab using the KNOWS hardware operating at 1 mW. We demonstrated (a) wireless microphone sensing, (b) Opportunistic networking, and (c) Variaible channel width