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Radio Technologies

AUTHOR: ND Staff

PUBLISHED: June 18, 2014

J. Nicholas Laneman
J. Nicholas Laneman

A team led by J. Nicholas Laneman, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and graduate students Brian Dunn and Michael Dickens has developed a software-defined radio technology that enables wireless devices to communicate using almost any wireless protocol simply by running a different software program. This has long been a problem with police officers and other first responders.

Because of the nature and scope of different situations, emergency personnel rarely have the opportunity to plan and setup their radios to address specific needs prior to an event. Even radios that conform to national standards for interoperability don’t always talk with each other consistently. Software-defined radio technology immediately benefits police, fire, and other emergency management departments that have struggled for decades with incompatible communication devices.

An outgrowth of this research is a company called RFware, which has recently received contracts from the U.S. Navy and Indiana’s 21st Century Fund in order to continue developing this technology for commercialization.