The National Science Foundation (NSF) continues to support projects to promote efficient radio spectrum sharing and new wireless technologies, with its latest funding awards amounting to $12 million going to 11 principal investigators and projects. The grant allocation brings NSF's total investment in this area beyond $60 million for 140 projects over the past five years.
Increasing mobile data and wireless broadband use traffic have made radio spectrum access more difficult to manage. NSF, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other agencies are implementing different programs to avert a looming spectrum crisis.
In July, NSF announced that it will invest more than $400M over the next seven years to support fundamental wireless research and to develop platforms for advanced wireless research in support of the White House's Advanced Wireless Research Initiative.
NSF, in a series of workshops under its Enhancing Wireless Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) program, previously identified key challenges in ensuring ample availability of spectrum resources, and formulated a list of recommendations — including several cutting-edge research areas combining the fields of the physical sciences, engineering, computer and information sciences, mathematics, economics, and public policy.
"The radio frequency spectrum is a finite but exceedingly valuable natural resource that facilitates a variety of applications and services. The research activities supported by these awards represent bold new approaches with the potential to contribute to improvements in the efficiency of radio spectrum utilization while protecting passive sensing services, and allowing traditionally underserved Americans to benefit from current and future wireless-enabled goods and services," said Jim Kurose, head of NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, in a news release. Together with NSF's Engineering and Math and Physical Sciences Directorates, Kurose’s supported the awards, which focus on the four following areas:
The three-year awards will be given to 11 projects and investigator teams.