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Graduate Student Wins for Wireless Communication Paper

Thursday, 24 October 2013 8:30 CDT

Doctoral student Ehsan Hosseini

University of Kansas researcher Ehsan Hosseini has been selected as the winner of the Best Graduate Student Paper Award at this week’s International Telemetering Conference (ITC). He will receive a $1,000 award and recognition at the ITC opening ceremony for his research on synchronizing bursts of data transferred between base stations and aircraft traveling at Mach speeds over thousands of miles.

“The most important aspect of wining the best paper award is the recognition of my work by researchers outside of KU. The conference has a large number of attendees from industry, and this reassures me that my Ph.D. research is useful to industry. Its theoretical aspects have already been published in scientific journals,” said Hosseini, a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science.

Hosseini conducted research under the direction of his adviser, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Associate Professor Erik Perrins, a leader in the field of wireless communications. Perrins is leading a Department of Defense (DoD) project to help build a new communication framework to support advanced testing of airborne vehicles, including DoD and NASA systems.

“KU has established itself as a leader in wireless communications. We have won this paper award three out of the last five years,” Perrins said.

The integrated Network-Enhanced Telemetry (iNET) program, the first substantial upgrade to flight-testing in 50 years, will permit two-way communication and the transmission of greater amounts of data during flights. Telemetry deals with the automatic transmission and measurement of data from remote sources, such as airborne vehicles. A key upgrade of iNET will be its ability to transmit data in bursts (or packets), rather than being continuously streamed. This allows time-sensitive information to be sent immediately, giving evaluators a more efficient, flexible communication network. But a short burst is more difficult to synchronize between a transmitter and receiver.

The synchronization problem can be compared to the way in which a person positions a printed page. The reader must first orient the page correctly — using known markings such as the text itself as a guide — before reading can commence. Some of the page is “wasted” on blank spaces and punctuation, but these are necessary in order to communicate clearly.

In a similar fashion, the receiver must lock onto a burst transmission and orient it correctly—using a known data message called a preamble. Because the preamble “wastes” space that could otherwise be used for the message, the preamble needs to be as short as possible. Perrins’ team has identified the most efficient preamble possible, and Hosseini’s paper describes the algorithms that are used to lock onto this preamble.

This is the third Best Graduate Paper Award at ITC for KU students in the last five years. Perrins’ graduate student Gino Rea won in 2009 for research on the hardware design of a demodulator for forward error correction codes, which allow the receiver to detect and correct errors in weak transmissions. Two years later, EECS graduate students Kamakshi Sirisha Pathapati, Nguyễn Ngọc Trúc Anh and Justin P. Rohrer, under the direction of EECS Associate Professor James P.G. Sterbenz, won for their paper on resilient, reliable networks that could transmit large amounts of test data.

ITC is an annual forum and technical exhibition sponsored by the International Foundation for Telemetering, a nonprofit corporation that promotes the professional and technical interests of the telemetering community by sponsoring conferences, educational activities and technical publications.