COSMOS Technology Building Blocks
Listed below are the technology building blocks for COSMOS.

SDR Radio Node

FPGA assisted software radio.

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mmWave Radio Platform

mmWave phased array.

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Optical/SDN x-Haul

Support emerging wireless tech.

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SDN Control

Application driven control.

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HP Edge Cloud

True high performance.

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Control and Management

Set-up and execution.

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RF Spectrum

Wide coverage.

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End-User Devices

AR/VR.

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SDR Radio Node

The COSMOS radio node is an FPGA-assisted software radio design similar to currently available USRP platforms, but with significantly higher bandwidth capability and performance. Each node will have support for multiple RF front ends including <6 GHz and mmWave. The node will also be capable of adding COTS modules in order to support general purpose legacy services and control requirements. In addition to communication functions, each node will incorporate RF sensing and signal measurement capabilities to support spectrum use and propagation studies. The node will be designed in three form factors, small, medium and large, for mobile, street-level and rooftop installations respectively. The same general components will be used for all three sizes, with differences due to the number of antennas supported, radio frequency bands and bandwidth covered, and level of SDR processing provided. These SDR radio nodes will work in conjunction with computation on edge cloud servers that can be set up to take on a portion of the signal processing.

mmWave Radio Platform

A key feature of the COSMOS platform is the integration of fully-programmable, high-performance SDR nodes with mmWave phased arrays. While there has been significant industrial and academic research on silicon-based mmWave phased array RFICs dating back to 2004, it is only recently that we are seeing commercial-grade mmWave phased arrays suitable for deployment in testbeds. Leveraging our ongoing partnership with IBM, the COSMOS platform will include mmWave nodes operating at both 28 and 60 GHz. The IBM 28GHz phased-array antenna module (PAAM) features 4 tiled RFICs supporting 64 dual-polarized antennas, 8 beams enabling hybrid analog-digital beamforming and MIMO, 30 degrees steerable beamwidth, 43 dBm EIRP, and up to 3 GHz IF. Another key aspect of the IBM 28GHz PAAM is the orthogonal amplitude and phase control enabled by (i) a gain-invariant phase-shifter design and phase-invariant variable-gain amplifier, and (ii) a careful antenna-array-in-package design the eliminates gain and phase mismatches. The front-end will offer rich programmability, including full access to the beamforming control, and latency as low as 10s of ns for low latency MAC and hybrid beamforming.

Optical/SDN x-Haul Network

A unique, optical front/mid/back (x) - haul network in COSMOS enables the investigation of new high speed and low latency networking techniques to support emerging and future wireless technologies and applications. The x-haul network builds on the optical networking testbed developed in the NSF Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) Engineering Research Center (ERC). The proposed x-haul network uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) with wavelength switching in colorless, reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADM) to enable a wide range of topologies with different size front-haul, mid-haul, and back-haul networks. An SDN control plane further gives users the ability to configure the network and experiment with fiber wireless SDN control and virtualized network functions within the edge cloud nodes.

SDN Control

The SDN framework used in the COSMOS testbed integrates native and agent-based control of both wired and wireless resources, allowing SDN experiments to implement application driven control of the full set of optical and data networking technologies, as well as radio resource parameters such as power levels and frequency. The COSMOS software framework and testbed control and management software makes it possible to completely decouple radio access technologies from current core network protocol standards such as 3GPP, essentially providing the user with native layer 2 access to all of the network and radio components. Further, the SDN framework supports virtualization which allows for logical separation of the same radio or network resource into multiple distinct networks with their own topology and routing protocol. The SDN/open base station approach has been validated extensively in the ORBIT testbed with various radio access technologies including WiFi, LTE, WiMax and experimental SDR. The open network operating system (ONOS) platform and RYU open flow controllers will be used as standard platforms for SDN and NFV experimentation -due to their ease of use for the research community. Recent multi-tenant controller methods will also be used to allow for different experiments to run unique SDN controllers simultaneously.

High Performance Edge Cloud

The COSMOS architecture introduces a high-performance cloud as an integral part of the functionality of the SDR radio base station. Edge cloud processing sites will contain three kinds of computing resources, CPUs, GPU accelerators, and FPGAs in order to provide flexible and powerful signal processing capabilities, while also able to handle general purpose computing tasks at the protocol layer and above. Each edge cloud installation will provide a virtualization layer based on KVM and OpenStack, integrated with the SDN control framework mentioned above. This software infrastructure will enable experimenters to specify the specific set of resources needed for a particular radio system implementation and parallel execution on combinations of CPU, GPU and FPGA. It will also allow easy deployment of novel application services. Concurrently, access at the "bare-metal" level will be provided for experimenting with software and services that critically depend on the ultra-low latency characteristics of the testbed. We will explore the integration of the software stack across multiple edge cloud clusters to allow live migration and cross-cluster resource allocation, with connection to GENI and public cloud resources such as CloudLab.

Testbed Control and Management Software

COSMOS control and management software is one of the critical technologies for successful operation of the testbed. The architecture is based on a central controller (similar in concept to SDN) which interfaces with experimenters, sets up resources for an experiment and manages experiment execution. The implementation in COSMOS will leverage and enhance a pre-existing open-source testbed control software package called OMF. OMF was originally developed for the ORBIT testbed and has evolved into an independent open-source framework (released here), which supports heterogeneous wired or wireless resources and has been used in several testbeds worldwide.

RF Spectrum

Traditionally, research in wireless systems has focused on single-band systems and on either licensed or unlicensed operation. COSMOS will support all key bands, with coverage in the 400 MHz to 6 GHz band, which also covers the new shared 3.5 GHz band that many have put forth as a key 5G band. Since it is not technically feasible to support all millimeter-wave bands, COSMOS will provide access to a representative set from the new 28, 37, 39 and 64-71 range recently made available by the FCC. Given that these bands have similar propagation and sharing considerations, the selection will allow experimenters to prototype realistic systems. A PAWS-compliant database will facilitate spectrum sharing with other COSMOS users and incumbents, protected spectrum users. The testbed will leverage the new program experimental licenses recently made available by the FCC.

End-User Devices

The testbed will incorporate a range of end-user devices including mobile data devices, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) equipment, high-resolution video cameras, connected cars and sensors/IoT devices. Devices requiring advanced wireless service will be attached to the small form-factor COSMOS radio nodes while more mobile devices and IoT sensors with size/weight limitations will be supported by the base service layer provided by COTS radios. SDR Radio nodes for installation in cars as shown below have previously been developed for the ORBIT testbed, and the same setup can be adapted for COSMOS with SDR and mmWave technology upgrades. Advanced wireless capable mobile nodes (about 200 planned in total, with about 10 mmWave) in the COSMOS deployment will be equipped with spectrum sensing and video capabilities which will be accessible to experimenters. All mobile nodes will have multiple radio interfaces and can be used for multi-homing or hetnet experiments. It is also noted here that subject to IRB approval of experiments, COSMOS is designed to support real-world trials involving opt-in users, typically volunteers from the Columbia or CCNY campuses or NYCHA building residents in the deployment area. The project will maintain a list of opt-in volunteers in order to simplify experiment setup and management for testbed users.