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The U hosts inaugural POWDER-RENEW Mobile and Wireless Week

Dr. Kobus Van der Merwe, principal investigator on the POWDER-RENEW project, and associate professor for the School of Computing

Dr. Kobus Van der Merwe, principal investigator on the POWDER-RENEW project, and associate professor for the School of Computing

Sixteen months have passed since researchers at the University of Utah were selected to create and operate a “living laboratory” for mobile and wireless technologies at the U and in Salt Lake City. The Platform for Open Wireless Data-driven Experimental Research (POWDER) is one of the first research testbeds for companies and universities in the United States.

On April 2, 2019, the U's POWDER team completed phase one — the very first Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) network testbed. To get an up-close look at the innovation, industrial researchers and 44 graduate students from more than 20 universities converged on campus during the inaugural POWDER-RENEW Mobile and Wireless Week (MWW2019) from September 9-13, 2019.

The event featured a variety of lectures and hands-on learning sessions, including:

  • End-to-end mobile networking
  • Radio access network (RAN) softwarization
  • Spectrum monitoring
  • Radio frequency exploration using USRP Hardware Drivers (UHD) and GNU Radio open-source software
  • Wireless communications basics
  • Antenna design
  • Wireless communications research

Attendees teamed up to execute a series of "mini projects" and took a field trip to view the POWDER deployment. This was the first time that non-POWDER-RENEW team members used the platform's over-the-air capabilities, including rooftop base stations, fixed endpoints, and massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) equipment.

Read more about the POWDER-RENEW project at

MWW2019 highlights

Select an image below to enlarge (photos courtesy of Dr. Kobus Van der Merwe). More photos are available on on this web page.

Winners of the mini project contest. First place went to Application-aware Scheduling Optimization by Can Carlak and Xumiao Zhang from the University of Michigan; second place went to MMSE Beamforming by Brent Kenney and Hamed Hosseiny from the University of Utah, Liangping Ma and John Kaewell from InterDigital, and Yongce Chen from Virginia Tech University; third place went to Modulation Classification by Joshua Bassey from Prairie View A&M University, and Ajeya Anand and Sabarish Krishna Moorthy from SUNY Buffalo. A rooftop field trip to view the POWDER deployment. Attendees of POWDER-RENEW Mobile and Wireless Week on September 9-13, 2019. One mini project involved designing and manufacturing a spiral antenna that was tested on the POWDER platform.

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Last Updated: 4/11/22