|Contact:||Anna Scaglione, 277-0297 or
Michael Padilla, 277-1816
Feb. 20, 2001
UNM professor researches wireless communication
How can wireless communication be improved?
To help answer that question, Anna Scaglione, assistant professor in the Department
of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico, is establishing
a research program in wireless communication.
Her research identifies ways to increase the speed and reliability of wireless
communication. The designs are based on digital signal processing techniques
that enhance the performance of the system with reduced complexity. Scaglione
said the idea can be compared to creating a new set of wheels that will make
the system run faster and better.
Her work was recently recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Signal Processing Society that granted the IEEE 2000
Best Paper Award to her and coauthors, Prof. Georgios B. Giannakis, University
of Minnesota and Prof. Sergio Barbarossa, University of Rome La Sapienza
for the two papers: Redundant Filterbank Precoders and Equalizers Part I: Unification
and Optimal Design and Redundant Filterbank Precoders and Equalizers Part II:
Blind Channel Estimation, Synchronization and Direct Equalization , published
in the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing journal in July 1999.
In their work the authors propose new modulation and data recovery techniques
designed to fight the primary sources of distortion affecting broadband channels.
Scaglione said that society can benefit from pervasive broadband wireless access
for education, public health, environmental emergencies, traffic control and
surveillance. In fact, high speed wireless connections would make exchanging
large amounts of data possible virtually anywhere and anytime, allowing the
consultation of large databases containing critical information and interactive
multimedia communications with people in distant locations or high speed computers
in remote places.
She said the high speed information link that carries information of several
users through the communication network can only reach limited locations. There
is obviously the problem of reaching each user, Scaglione said. The
technology to cover the last and shorter section of the communication link (usually
about one mile long) has to be cheaper than the technology used in the internal
(nation or world-wide) network because of the many users that have to be connected.
Wireless communication minimizes the cost of this connection, because the physical
channel is already there as is the free space. Unfortunately, this type of communication
is prone to severe distortions, especially when broadband signals are used to
support high data rates.
She said one of the advantages of digital communication is that there are two clear parameters that define how good the design is efficiency (the amount of radio frequency bandwidth required by the system) and reliability (the amount of errors in the received data).
Increasing efficiency and reliability is like increasing the speed of a car
without increasing the amount of gas required to have increased performance,
she said, adding that this usually comes at the cost of more sophisticated designs.
The advantages of the discrete signal processing approach in the design is
that it can be implemented just by changing the type of programs performed in
the digital signal processing chips included in the modems, she said. These
chips operate as very fast computers that perform only specific operations.
Proposing a new digital design is like using a better software and having a
computer that works faster without changing the hardware, i.e. the actual machinery.
With an array of multimedia applications introduced via the Internet, the demand and the use of the communication media has changed rapidly, she said.
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