This EAGER project will deploy an experimental wireless testbed in the downtown area of Philadelphia. The proposed testbed will be based on WiMAX technologies and will be jointly administered by Temple and Drexel University faculty with a wide range of expertise, including wireless networks, sensor applications and wireless security. The proposed platform is unique and has the following characteristics: (a) Open Access. The testbed will be integrated into GENI, which has a national footprint and is available at many campuses across the country. (b) Urban location. The projected coverage area includes a metropolitan downtown area with many tall buildings and competing wireless services. (c) Potential for expansion. At this initial stage, two base stations are planned, one on each campus. But both Temple and Drexel have other buildings across the city where more base stations can be located in the future. (d) Alignment with Digital Philadelphia. This project is a good match with the current vision for Philadelphia, which seeks to provide gigabit connectivity throughout the City.
Specifically, the PIs will 1) complete the installation and testing of the testbed and the corresponding hardware (smartphones, laptops, sensors and vehicular devices), 2) integrate the testbed with GENI, and 3) carry out experiments that make extensive use of the testbed. The current portfolio of experiments include air quality sensor networks for urban environmental monitoring, WiMAX-based data network for law enforcement, mobile content delivery networks, sensor-based telemedicine, and location-based services for tourists. In terms of broader impacts, the proposed testbed will serve the research community, allowing a realistic platform on which to conduct experiments not possible elsewhere. In addition, the testbed will be integrated into classes at Drexel and Temple, facilitating the education and training of undergraduate and graduate students in next generation wireless networking, large-systems research. The testbed will also be used in outreach to local middle and high school students.