SPCOM Testbed Details

Introduction

The Signal Processing for Intelligent Systems and Communications Research Group (SPCOM) at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) have recently constructed a testbed research platform for real-world testing of wireless communications algorithms. The SPCOM testbed is being developed in a number of stages – including to test spectrum sensing algorithms, localisation algorithms, multi-antenna systems and multi-antenna full duplexing system.

SPCOM testbed

The 8x8 MIMO testbed was set-up at HWU in 2017. It is based on the, ‘X300’ and ‘X310’ series of testbed chassis and field programmable gate array (FPGA) chipsets from Ettus Research. Along with these, there are two TwinRx daughterboards and two UBX daughterboards. The daughterboards in combination with the X310/300 allow for various multiple antenna array testbed configurations to be implemented. Among these configurations are 8 receiver radio frequency (RF) chain by 8 transmit RF chain, currently used in the spectrum sensing/localisation stage of development, and also 2 receive RF by 2 transmit RF chain, which is used in the full-duplex prototype implementation. There is also a Minicircuits ZX 60-V63+ 20 dB microwave amplifier included in the set-up for larger evaluation environments.  A schematic depicting some of the hardware parameters is depicted in Fig. 1. Essentially the testbed comprises a HP Elite desk 800 G2 TWR Business PC comprising 64 GB of RAM and a 512GB serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) 2.5 3D Solid State HardDrive. The PC is equipped with Intel 520 network cards that allow for 10 Gbit/s Ethernet connections to exist between the PC itself and the X310/300 chassis. 

 

Figure 1: SPCOM testbed hardware set-up.

 

Specifications

The specifications of the testbed are:

  • UBX Tx & Rx frequency range: 10MHz to 6GHz.
  • UBX Tx & Rx RF bandwidth: 160 MHz.
  • UBX Tx Max. power:  20 dBm.
  • TwinRx Rx frequency range: 10MHz to 6GHz.
  • TwinRx Rx bandwidth (3dB): 80MHz.
  • X300 FPGA: Kintex 7-325T
  • X310 FPGA: Kintex 7-410T
  • PC: HP Elite desk 800 G2 TWR Business PC with 64 GB of RAM and a 512GB serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) 2.5 3D Solid State HardDrive with intel 520 network cards for 10 GBit/s Ethernet connections to testbed chassis.
  • RF amplifier: Minicircuits ZX 60-V63+ 20 dB microwave amplifier.

 

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