Link Technologies for Organic Wireless Networks of the Future

Prof. Brian D. Woerner

Mobile & Portable Radio Research Group
Bradley Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
432 Durham Hall, Mail Stop 0350
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Friday, December 13th, 3:00 PM, ENS 637


For the past decade, wireless communications research has been driven by the assumption that connectivity is provided through a capital intensive network of base-stations and cells, and that the primary objective is to maximize network capacity. These assumptions have resulted in technical breakthroughs in smart antennas, multi-user receivers, turbo-codes, and transmit diversity, and have in turn influenced the development of complex 3G network standards.

Although 3G is a technical success, it is not yet clear that it will be an economic one. Deployment of a 3G service requires enormous up-front investments in spectrum and equipment, and wireless service providers are struggling to build business cases to support this investment. In contrast, small 'organic' networks based on IEEE 802.11 and Bluetooth standards are gaining rapid market acceptance, in part because of the initial investment required for these systems.

Future "organic" wireless networks will feature high data rates, short transmission links, adaptive interference mitigation methods, flexible spectrum usage, and rapid set-up and tear down of data links. These characteristics will require a variety of technology advances in the area of modulation, antenna diversity and beamstearing, software radio, and synchronization. In this talk we explore some of these new technologies and suggest directions for fruitfull future research.


Brian Woerner is a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. For the past 11 years, he has taught and led graduate students in research in the fields of wireless communications with particular emphasis on the use of signal processing techniques to enhance the performance of link level wireles communications. His work has been based with the Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group, serving as that group's director form 1994-1996 and 1998-2000.

A list of Wireless Networking and Communications Seminars is available at from the ECE department Web pages under "Seminars". The Web address for the Wireless Networking and Communications Seminars is