GRCon13 Presentations and Abstracts

     

 

Opening Presentations

 

Title Year-in-Review of GNU Radio

 

Presenter Tom Rondeau and Johnathan Corgan

 

Abstract An introduction to GRCon13 and a review of the features and accomplishments in GNU Radio since the last GRCon.

 

Presentation

 



 

 

Title Growing the GNU Radio Community & GRCon14

 

Presenter John Malsbury and Martin Braun

 

Abstract Discussion about the community, growing it and interacting with various institutions and organizations. Also a summary of where we are with GRCon13 and what we want out of GRCon14.

 

Malsbury's Presentation

Braun's Presentation

 





 

GSoC Sessions GSoC GNU Radio Homepage

 

Title Improving GRC

 

Student Aneela Yasmeen

 

Mentor Sebastian Koslowski

 

Abstract GNU Radio companion (GRC) is used to construct graphical flow-graphs. However, current GRC has several limitations. For example, it creates Python flow graphs only. Also, GRC provides little connection between a block and its underlying code. Finally, GRC work-flow needs improvement, e.g., as of now, development of new custom blocks is not considered in GRC. This project aims to allow i) access to Doxygen/Sphinx docs (and source code), ii) creation of a new block and editing it by maintaining a GRC project folder, iii) creation of C++ flow graphs from GRC flow graphs, all from within GRC.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title LDPC and more FEC

 

Student Manu T S

 

Mentor Jens Elsner

 

Abstract This project aims to deliver generic encoders and decoders for LDPC codes, and other FEC schemes currently not available in GNU Radio. Project will concentrate heavily on LDPC codes. First stage of the project will deliver blocks implementing basic algorithms to construct parity check matrix for a class of capacity approaching LDPC codes and to construct encoders and decoders from the obtained parity check matrix. This stage will deliver Reed-Solomon based LDPC codes and sum product algorithm. The second stage will concentrate on delivering blocks implementing more sophisticated and efficient set of algorithms for LDPC codes. Specifically, LDPC codes based on finite geometry, masking and progressive edge growth algorithm will be delivered. The third stage will deliver encoders and decoders for BCH code and attempt to improve Reed-Solomon available in gr-fec namespace. The project duration is broken down into 7 phases, each with specific goals for tractability. The project seeks to make use of available open-source implementations.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Implementation of LDPC

 

Student Tracie Perez

 

Mentor Jens Elsner

 

Abstract Low density parity check (LDPC) codes are a powerful class of linear error correcting codes. Carefully designed LDPC codes have been shown to achieve performance very close to the Shannon limit in additive white Gaussian noise channels. The goal of this project is to implement LDPC encoder and decoder blocks in GNU Radio for use in real-time transmission, demonstrate their functionality, and examine their capabilities as compared to other blocks’ coding gain.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title 802.11a/b/g Receiver

 

Student Shashank Gaur

 

Mentor Ankit Kaushik

 

Abstract The GNURadio is an open source community which provides continuous signal processing solutions for Software Defined Radio. The basic development of GNU Radio toolkit is done in a manner to make it compatible with low-cost RF hardware to achieve SDRs. Primarily written in Python and C++, the toolkit provides user to real time radio systems in a simple enviornment. The aim of this Project is to develop an OFDM Reciever for GNURadio and integrate wireshar into it. Hence enabling GNURadio as a tool which can receive the packets for OFDM and analyse the algorithm implemented on network as well. Please find the pdf version of the proposal at the link provided in Additional Info.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title FPGA Co-processing with Xilinx Zynq

 

Student Jonathon Pendlum

 

Mentor Philip Balister

 

Abstract Many signal processing blocks in GnuRadio exhibit parallelism and can be efficiently mapped to the architecture of a FPGA. However, GnuRadio has been slow to adopt FPGA hardware acceleration, likely due to a lack of suitable hardware and difficulty of HDL design. Recently, FPGA vendor Xilinx released the Zynq, a System-on-Chip (SoC) that tightly couples programmable logic with a dual core Cortex A9 ARM processor. It features low latency, high throughput, and cache-coherent communication between the programmable logic and the ARM processor cores. Due to this feature, the Zynq SoC has gained interest in the GnuRadio community as a viable platform for FPGA hardware co-processing. This project proposes adding a framework to GnuRadio to support FPGA co-processing with Xilinx's Zynq SoC.

 

Presentation

 

   

 





 

Hardware Vendors  

 

Title The rise of the open-source hardware for SDR

 

Presenter Alexander Chemeris

 

Affiliation Fairwaves

 

Abstract

 

External Link https://code.google.com/p/umtrx/

 

Presentation 1

Presentation 2

 



 

Title ASR-2300 - Multichannel SDR Module for PNT and Mobile Communications

 

Presenter Michael Mathews

 

Affiliation Loctronix Corporation

 

Abstract Motivated by the need for increased portability and flexibility in RF communication systems, software defined radio (SDR) is finding increasing acceptance and use in a wide variety of applications. In particular, SDR provides significant advantages when dealing with signals of opportunity (SoOps) and the growing positioning services within GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Modern navigation receivers are becoming vastly more complex given the various types of signals and RF bands supported. SDR is a natural solution for addressing this complexity, making it possible to create receivers that can be dynamically configured to support a variety of navigation applications. Further, in supporting sensor fusion applications for GPS/GNSS challenged environments, SDR provides the flexibility to efficiently transition to becoming SoOps based.

This presentation introduces Loctronix Advanced Software Radio™ (ASR) ASR-2300 SDR module providing positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) in GPS/GNSS challenged environments. The ASR-2300 combines two broadband RF transceivers with a high performance FPGA enabling simultaneous RF transmission and reception in the region between 300 MHz and 3.8 GHz with up to 28 MHz of bandwidth per channel. The device is a portable, low size weight and power (SWaP) module providing USB 3.0 interface with up to 310 MB per second data I/O with a general-purpose CPU. In addition, the module provides inertial, geomagnetic, and barometric sensors providing the core sensors needed to implement SoOp-based sensor fusion navigation. This attribute is especially important in situations of jammed / spoofed GNSS signals.

The ASR-2300 is a new SDR module, planned for product launch in the fourth quarter 2013. This presentation is a preview of the upcoming capabilities and will discuss the open source licensing of the designs, firmware, and GNU Radio drivers via the Myriad RF open source community. The module, when released will provide full integration with GNU Radio via the UHD, which will be covered as part of the presentation. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with prototypes of the module at the GNU Radio Hackfest.

In addition to covering the core capabilities of the ASR-2300, test results will be presented showing the use of the PNT waveforms currently under development using the ASR-2300 for both space navigation and indoor positioning applications. Loctronix ASR waveforms are based on patented Spectral Compression Positioning™ (SCP) and Doppler Aided Inertial Navigation™ (DAIN) methods developed for navigating in GPS/GNSS challenged environments. SCP is a novel technique for processing intercepted signals that enable extraction of PNT observables without requiring explicit demodulation of information content. SCP can be used with virtually any SoOp producing one or more useful observables for PNT as well as extracting useful physical characteristics of signals in the band of interest.

The ASR-2300 module provides a core foundation for developing SDR waveforms supporting a variety of PNT applications. The low SWaP characteristics of the module makes rapid prototyping and field testing of new waveforms a possibility.

 

External Link http://www.loctronix.com/

 

Presentation

 



 

Title USRP Products

 

Presenter Matt Ettus

 

Affiliation Ettus Research

 

Abstract  

 

External Link http://ettus.com

 

Presentation

 

   

 





 

Applications  

 

Title GPU accelerated visualization of spectrum

 

Presenter Sylvain Munaut

 

Affiliation n/a

 

Abstract This talk with introduce a new project aiming at greatly improving the current way we visualize spectrum by borrowing some of the tools and techniques currently used in high-end RTSA. Thanks to modern GPU, the kind of computations needed for theses advanced spectrum display is now achievable on common laptops, even for the wideband signals acquired by modern SDR.

 

External Link  

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Spectrum Monitoring System and Benchmarking of Mobile Networks Using Open Source Radios - SIMONES. Integration with Industrial application

 

Presenter Adriana Arteaga

 

Affiliation i2t Research Group, Icesi University

 

Abstract Spectrum monitoring is a important task within spectrum management because once a frequency has been assigned, each country must ensure that it is used correctly. One of the most relevant monitoring task is the use of automated spectrum monitoring systems, which to ease spectrum measurements and gather all spectrum information in a centralized spectrum management system.

In GNU Radio Conference 2012, we presented a work in progress about "Spectrum Monitoring System and Benchmarking of mobile networks using open source radios (SIMONES)". One of the main ideas of the project is use an USRP to implement a basic spectrum analyzer that would be integrated into TESData, a spectrum management tool capable to perform spectrum measurements controlling several commercial spectrum analyzer. TESData is developed by TESAmerica and is used for some spectrum monitoring agencies in Latin America, and with this integration, spectrum monitoring networks can expand its coverage using basic spectrum analyzer on secondary zones.

This year we want to show how we did the integration and how USRP E110 spectrum analyzer works when it is used on demanding spectrum monitoring task. One of the important considerations are the communications between Python and C# applications through standard such as XML-RPC, and some limitations about USRP performance.

 

External Link  

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Spectrum Monitoring System and Benchmarking of Mobile Networks Using Open Source Radios - SIMONES: Remote Management Tool.

 

Presenter Leonardo Vargas

 

Affiliation Icesi University

 

Abstract In 2012, we presented the project “Spectrum Monitoring System and Benchmarking of Mobile Networks Using Open Software Radios”, which main objective was to develop simple, unattended operation and low cost monitoring units, to support spectrum monitoring and management tasks and to complement commercial units with specific functionalities that are not standard in international systems.

We selected the USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) from Ettus Research and GNU Radio as the main tools for the project, and created web-based management tools as the foundation of a new version of the TESMonitor Suite, a radio spectrum management tool developed by a Colombian company which is ally and sponsor of SIMONES. The interaction between the engineers and the traditional tools, the same since 1960s, was reviewed to propose a new interaction model based on frequency allocation tables, a new set of icons and display changes, to simplify and automate the main monitoring tasks.

In this presentation we want to show you those tools, other open source projects resulting from the development of this proposal and the future work.

 

External Link http://www.icesi.edu.co/i2t/teleco/

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Review of the DARPA Spectrum Challenge

 

Presenter Ivan Seskar

 

Affiliation Rutgers Univ. & WINLAB

 

Abstract  

 

External Link DARPA Spectrum Challenge

 

Presentation

 



 

Title FasTrak RFID, MUSIC Direction Finding, RADAR Detection & Multi-channel Decodings

 

Presenter Balint Seeber

 

Affiliation Ettus Research

 

Abstract

This talk will show how GNU Radio was used to create new blocks and prototype flowgraphs in four different application areas:

Toll tag systems, used to increase vehicular throughput at traffic toll collection points, commonly employ RFID to read a tag’s ID and identify the owner. California’s Bay Area FasTrak programme, like many others around the world, use simple tags that listen for a reader’s interrogation, and then reply using back-scatter modulation (i.e. they don’t actively transmit). There is no security in many of the transactions, so it is possible to read anyone’s ID. I will cover the additional RF hardware required, and demonstrate a GR-based reader (phase 2 will be replicating a tag).

Looking beyond pseudo-Doppler Direction Finding, super-resolution algorithms leverage more advanced mathematical models to provide better angle-of-arrival determination. Inspired by the spectral estimation work in KIT-CEL’s gr-specest Toolbox, I will show how super-resolution DF can be performed with a new GR block that employs the MUltiple SIgnal Classification algorithm. It can be used with arbitrary 2D antenna configurations, and can simultaneously calculate the AOA of multiple signals.

Surveillance RADARs operate with different parameters depending on what type of targets they are tracking, and over what range. By receiving a RADAR’s ‘bang’ and performing some simple statistics, it is possible to determine some of this information (e.g. Pulse Repetition Frequency). High-power RADARs, such as those found at airports and weather monitoring stations, transmit good test signals. These signals were fed into a RADAR Detection block, whose output is shown with graphical front-end enabling further analysis.

A templatised multi-channel decoder approach is shown to allow easy parallelisation of a single-channel flowgraph in GRC. I’ll show some examples of it being used, for example, from spectrum monitoring and listening to radio activity, to decoding simultaneously the two Automatic Identification System (AIS) channels used by maritime transponders. 

 

External Link  

 

Presentation

Video Presentation

 



 

Title Physical DSP Integration into GNU Radio and gr-liquiddsp

 

Presenter Justin Ford

 

Affiliation Sandia National Labs

 

Abstract Software defined radio (SDR) provides for rapid development of new radio receivers and transmitters. This is especially true in GNU Radio where a wide variety of configurable blocks are available to users. However, the advantage of ease of development often comes at the cost of increased computational requirements and increased power consumption. Sandia National Laboratories has integrated a multicore Texas Instruments (TI) digital signal processor (DSP) in GNU Radio with the goal of obtaining high performance computation in a modest power footprint to enable highly capable, low-power SDRs. Of equal importance is to allow for reasonably easy integration of DSPs in GNU Radio flowgraphs. This is accomplished by offering a set of flexible DSP-enabled blocks for GNU Radio users to apply in a wide variety of scenarios.

 

This presentation will introduce how a physical DSP can be used as an accelerator and describe Sandia’s approach to utilizing a quad-core TI DSP from GNU Radio. Methodology and results for benchmarking of some fundamental functions will be presented. The benefits of DSP-based acceleration for SDR will be explored.

 

Finally, a few of the key developers for the DSP integration into GNU Radio project also participated in the June 2013 GNU Radio hackfest. An initial assessment of utilizing Joe Gaeddert’s liquid library of C-based DSP functions in GNU Radio was conducted. This work is briefly described.

 

External Link  

 

Presentation Video

 



 

Title RF Channel occupation tool using GNU Radio

 

Presenter Dick Carrillo

 

Affiliation CPqD

 

Abstract One important element in cognitive radio systems is to retrieve statistical information of channels to be used opportunistically by the secondary users. One primarily solution is to use high cost Spectrum analyzers with specialized and proprietary software. This tool face this problem based in UHD and GNU Radio platform creates automatically a mathematical model of channel of interest using real environment with high accuracy. This mathematical model could be used to develop specialized algorithms of spectrum allocation in cognitive radio systems and in other telecommunication systems.

 

External Link http://www.cpqd.com.br/cognitiveradio

 

Presentation

 



 

Title gr-zmqblocks: An approach to distributed GNU Radio applications

 

Presenter Johannes Schmitz

 

Affiliation RWTH Aachen

 

Abstract Recently there has been an increased interest in remote access to GNU Radio. ControlPort is a prominent recent project that accounts for this trend. However, certain functionality is still missing. This talk will present the gr-zmqblocks GNU Radio module. The module provides additional sink/source blocks and Python classes for connecting two or more GNU Radio flowgraphs over a network, providing a simple means of forming a distributed GNU Radio application. It is largely based on the ZeroMQ library. Therefore the talk will begin with a short introduction to ZeroMQ, subsequently explaining how this library is used to enable the connection of two or more flowgraphs in a network. The project also features remote procedure calls and remote probes which might be used to enable remote graphical user interfaces. A small live demonstration displaying the example that comes thogether with gr-zmqblocks will conclude the talk.

 

External Link https://github.com/iohannez/gr-zmqblocks

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Status quo and next steps for GNU Radio hardware acceleration

 

Presenter Moritz Fischer

 

Affiliation Ettus Research

 

Abstract Although some of the currently available SDRs come with means of adding FPGA based acceleration to boost performance, almost nobody is making use of them. One of several reasons for that is, that the learning curve is quite steep for a beginner.

This talk will briefly describe a new way to add hardware acceleration to Zynq based SDRs, that has already been successfully used in Jonathon Pendlum's GSoC project.

I'll give an overview of where we are at the moment, what the development experience right now is like, what parts  are still missing and what I'm planning on adding (possibly a very crude proof of concept).

 

External Link  

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Geophysical remote sensing with software defined radio

 

Presenter Juha Vierinen

 

Affiliation MIT Haystack Observatory

 

Abstract We present software defined radio implementations of various geophysical instruments, such as an ionosonde, a riometer, a beacon satellite ionospheric tomography receiver, and an HF radar system. We also discuss our experiences with using off-the-shelf software defined radio hardware as digital receivers for high power large aperture radars and ionospheric heaters.

 

External Link

 

 

Presentation Video

 





 

Tutorials  

 

Title PHY/MAC Implementation with the USRP

 

Presenter John Malsbury

 

Affiliation Ettus Research

 

Abstract This session will discuss how new features introduced through the previous tutorials (message passing, PDUs, etc.) can be used to rapidly develop a software-defined radio for communications research.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Say, OFDM - You're looking fantastic these days

 

Presenter Martin Braun

 

Affiliation Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

 

Abstract The last year and version of GNU Radio brought a massive amount of new features for flow graph architecture: Among otheres, we now have message passing, Python blocks and tagged stream blocks. The new OFDM codes use all of these. We demonstrate how transmitting and receiving OFDM has become much easier by using these new features.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Performance Counters, Logging, Thread Core Affinity and Priority

 

Presenter Tom Rondeau

 

Affiliation Rondeau Research

 

Abstract  
We have added many new features and capabilities to GNU Radio over the past year, many of which are small but useful tools to build, debug, and measure the performance of new blocks or an overall application. This talk introduces three of those capabilities.
  1. Performance Counters are a new concept where statistics about each block are calculated and stored for each block in a flowgraph. The Performance Counters are accessible through direct calls to the blocks themselves or over ControlPort.
  2. We have introduced a new set of features to improve the logging, error display, and general interaction between GNU Radio and the users. The logging functionality in GNU Radio is built on top of the log4cpp library and allows us the flexibility to enable/disable different levels of verbosity to the user.
  3. With the default thread-per-block (TPB) scheduler of GNU Radio, we have improved the control we have over the scheduling and placement of blocks in a multi-core system. We can now programmatically determin both the thread affinity and priorities. Depending on the design of the system or the demands of the GNU Radio application, we can dynamically adjust which core a block can use or what its priority in the OS should be.

 

Presentation
 

 

Title ControlPort

 

Presenter Tom Rondeau

 

Affiliation Rondeau Research

 

Abstract

GNU Radio's ControlPort, new in version 3.7, allows us a powerful remote command and control interface with running GNU Radio applications. Each block, including the top block, can export properties through interfaces over ControlPort. A ControlPort client is then able to get and/or set these properties of the blocks. We can use this concept to monitor running applications, adjust settings based on operational needs or changes, and even debug and diagnose issues by pulling back vectors of samples for display in the client application. ControlPort is a way to monitor and control GNU Radio applications in situations where many radios are remotely deployed, in embedded systems with limited I/O, or if we have many radios running simultaneously that we need to easily interact with.

 

This tutorial will explain the basic concepts of ControlPort and show how we can use it for basic interactions with a running radio.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title PyBOMBS

 

Presenter Tim O'Shea

 

Affiliation Virginia Tech

 

Abstract  

GNU Radio and the collection of out of tree modules built on it form a strong base platform for any student, researcher, or developer working in the software radio area. However, getting a development environment up and running rapidly can be challenging as a new user and doing so portably and repeatably can be a headache even for advanced users. The Python Build Overlay Managed Bundle System aims to help address this problem by providing a meta build system that helps manage GNU Radio modules and their dependencies to make discovering and installing them easier.

 

PyBOMBS first helps users install necessary development libraries and headers on their system, checks out and builds GNU Radio, UHD, and a number of out of tree modules from the latest development repositories, and then configures, builds, and installs the modules all cleanly in a prefixed environment. By helping users do clean prefixed builds of GNU Radio and all of its modules, users can easily maintain stable build roots for several versions of GNU Radio such as 3.6 and 3.7 while they test their code against the latest bleeding edge code in 3.8 without crippling their environment on the night before a demonstration. PyBOMBS also makes it easy to add additional recipes for your own out of tree modules, and hopes to provide a wide index of available packages beyond those that meet the code style, licensing and copyright standards maintained by the core GNU Radio repository. By allowing for a diverse collection of module build systems, languages, and the easy introduction of new external and inter-dependencies PyBOMBS hopes to give developers in the GNU Radio community a powerful build platform which gives them the freedom to build any way they want, while still maintaining a little bit of uniformity in allowing a user to find, install, use, and hack all of the disparate pieces quickly from one place.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title Channel Simulations

 

Presenter Tim O'Shea

 

Affiliation Virginia Tech

 

Abstract GNU Radio provides a powerful set of tools for simulating wireless channel impairments. This talk will highlight several recent additions to the GNU Radio channel simulation tool set which aim to provide realistic dynamic channel behaviors that go well beyond the traditional AWGN and static clock offset models which have long been available. Realistic simulation and rapid test iteration during the design, implementation, and testing of signal processing algorithms can provide shorter development time-lines, more robust testing, and verification of algorithms. While simulation will never be a replacement for the real thing, it is important that we establish a set of realistic real world models which are easily repeatable and readily available to users to compare algorithms and implementations in a fair way, and to provide a set of models which can be used repeatedly in seconds during early stage development as a first test barrier before conducting over the air lab experiments which may take hours or days to conduct.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title gr-grid

 

Presenter Tim Newman

 

Affiliation Univ. Maryland

 

Abstract IceGrid is a module from the ZeroC Ice group of products that targets applications requiring a managed environment that can also harness the collective resources of the computer network. For GNU Radio applications, IceGrid can assist in the deployment of flowgraphs onto remote platforms, such as laptops, servers, or even embedded devices. IceGrid is also able to help with the ongoing health and status monitoring of the running processes on the remote resources. In this talk, Tim will discuss how IceGrid can be used with GNU Radio to setup a small network of computing resources where flowgraphs can be deployed to remote servers and managed from a central control point. IceGrid is a very complex and intricate module, however, this talk will be restricted to only a few key characteristics that enable the remote deployment of GNU Radio flowgraphs and the management of them.

 

Presentation

 



 

Title FECAPI

 

Presenter Nick McCarthy

 

Affiliation Univ. Maryland

 

Abstract  

 

Presentation

 



 

Title RFNoC

 

Presenter Matt Ettus

 

Affiliation Ettus Research

 

Abstract  RF Network on Chip design paradigm.

 

Presentation

 





 

Working Groups  

 

Title Discuss the Future of GNU Radio

 

Abstract

During this session, users will have the opportunity to discuss critical topics for GNU Radio in a number of working groups. Through your contributions in these groups, we hope to identify key areas we can improve as a community. The exact break-up will be refined as the conference approaches.  Potential topics include:

  • Optimization for Embedded SDRs

  • Integration of FPGA Co-Processing

  • Improving the GNU Radio Experience for New Users

  • [Email john.malsbury@ettus.com to suggest specific topics]

Wiki Page of ideas and efforts   

 



 

Title Panel Session: Community Discussion with the Devs

 

Abstract

To close out the conference, we will be hosting a panel session. The panel will include Matt Ettus (moderator), Tom Rondeau, Johnathan Corgan, and Martin Braun. During this session attendees will have the opportunity to ask the panel hard questions about the current status and future direction of the GNU Radio. This will also offer an opportunity to provide feedback to the leaders of GNU Radio.

 

 





 

Hackfest  

 

Description

GNU Radio has benefited significantly from our infrequent hackfests, where a group of us get together and sit and work on focused projects for a day to a week at a time. Often, we have identified specific project goals to work on and accomplish during these sessions and other times we each come with different interests and/or goals. Hackfests usually end up by splitting into groups of people interested in a common idea. Sometimes it can be a single person working alone on an idea. In any case, the gathering of the participants of a hackfest bring energy, enthusiasm, new points of view, and various expertise, and each of these aspects can help all of the hackers better accomplish their work.

 

At last year's GRCon12, we held a final, one-day hackfest for anyone at the conference to participate in. Everyone we talked to found it a fun and educational experience. It can often be hard to think what you can accomplish in just a single 8-hour day like this, but, in fact, there's quite a bit. One thing that most of us kept in mind was to select projects that were small enough to make progress on in a single day. But even if a project is bigger than that, a hackfest can be about finding people with either similar interests or unknown expertise in an area. The team building and contacts made here can be just as valuable going forward with projects as anything else.

 

Wiki page on Hackfest work