Wireless Laboratory

The INRS Wireless Laboratory is recognized as a national leader in the application of advanced multidimensional signal processing techniques to wireless communications. It offers an innovative platform for cutting-edge research and research training programs on wireless technology and its applications.

The Wireless Laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment enabling numerous advances that will shape the world of the future: new 4G/5G/5G+/6G radio access technologies and interfaces; wireless sensor networks; wireless applications for the new digital economy and sustainable development; advanced localization and navigation techniques for confined environments; hardware prototyping of new wireless technologies; integration of the Internet of Things; standardization and regulation, and more.

The Wireless Laboratory is known for its collaborative projects aimed at reinforcing the concept of university–industry cooperation. It has state-of-the-art equipment for developing new technology, including prototyping platforms, a mobile laboratory, computer resources, and a wide range of tools and instruments.

Prototyping platforms

Lyrtech (Nutaq) VHS ADC/DAC platform

The VHS-ADC is a high-speed, multichannel acquisition platform. It is equipped with eight phase-synchronous ADCs capable of a maximum rate of 105 MHz and a high-capacity Virtex-4 FPGA for high-speed processing.

Nutaq PicoSDR SDR high-level integration platform

The Nutaq PicoSDR is an SDR solution that incorporates up to two powerful multimode dual-channel RF transceiver modules, robust FPGA logic and memory that can be stacked together to form a 2×2 or 4×4 MIMO turnkey solution from baseband processing to the air interface. The PicoSDR is capable of uplinking and downlinking data streams to a remote computer running on Linux or Windows through a high-speed GigE interface.

BEECube MiniBEE SDR high-level integration platform

MiniBEE provides engineers, researchers and professors with a comprehensive, high performance FPGA/CPU/GPU/ network system small enough for field, lab, and classroom use. MiniBEE is extremely flexible, affordable and expandable.

Anite Propsim FS8 radio channel emulator

Propsim radio channel emulators simulate the characteristics of real-world radio channel conditions in the laboratory, and can be used to develop and test high quality wireless equipment.

Mobile lab

The mobile lab was created to provide a realistic environment for testing physical prototypes. It can generate all types of distortions found on radio channels, such as multi-path propagation, fast fading, slow fading, Doppler spread, and more.

Advantages and equipment 

  • 120V power supply free of harmonic noise
  • 12 easily reconfigurable antennas
  • Radar
  • Air conditioning for test equipment

The RF section of the mobile laboratory is modular to enable custom testing of technologies, modulations, and frequency bands.

  • Mobile ICS base station
  • AMIRIX card for signal processing
  • Console
  • RF receiver chains
  • RF transmission chains
  • Local oscillators

Tools and instruments

  • Laboratory power supply: Agilent E3631A
  • Laboratory power supply: Agilent E3647A (2)
  • Logic analyzer: Tektronix TLA5202
  • ICS daqPC system
    Lyrtech station (Signal Master Quad V4, VHS ADC, VHS DAC, DRC V4)
  • Development radio, ISR Technologies IDP100
  • Altera development kit, STRATIX edition
  • Signal generator, Rohde&Schwarz SMIQ 03B
  • Function generator, Tektronix AFG3102 (2)
  • Oscilloscope, Tektronix DPO7054
  • Waveform generator, Tektronix AWG5014
  • Spectrum analyzer, Anritsu MS2719B
  • Portable spectrum analyzer, Anritsu MS2724B
  • Power sensor, Anritsu MA24106A
  • Hakko soldering/rework stations (FP-102, FM-202, FR-802)

Wireless sensor (WSN) and IoT communications networks

Powercast Lifetime Power® Energy Harvesting, Development kit for wireless sensors

This is a software development kit for WSNs without batteries, powered by radio frequency (RF) signals. It includes an RF emitter, cards, and antennas for recovering RF energy from wireless temperature, humidity, and light sensors and an interface for connecting external sensors, a development card, and a programming tool.

Classroom Kit for WSNs

This toolkit is designed to simulate a wireless sensor network in an academic research setting.

It includes software and the following hardware:

Processor/radio card – MICAz platform (30 cards)

Each card is mainly composed of an ATmega128 8MHz microcontroller, 4 Kb of RAM, 512 Kb of flash memory and a Chipcon CC2420 radio chip, which has become the standard for IEEE 802.15.4- compliant transmission modules on a 2.4 GHz frequency band. To operate, the MICAz sensor must be powered by two 1.5 V batteries and can be equipped with several types of integrated circuits that can measure a variety of natural phenomena.

MDA100 acquisition card (20 cards)

Each card is composed of a MDA100CB sensor and a data acquisition card. The MDA100 has a precision thermistor, a light sensor/photocell, and a general prototyping area. The prototyping area is designed for use with IRIS, MICAz, and MICA2 and supports connection to all 51 pins on the expansion connector. It also provides 42 additional soldering points for breadboarding.

MIB520 USB interface board (10 cards)

This MIB520 hardware tool is used to load programs compiled in the memory of the ATmega128 microcontroller. It provides USB connectivity to the family of MICAz sensors for communication and in-system programming. It also allows a MICAz node to function as a base station when they are connected together.

F8534 Zigbee/ WiFi/LAN router

This router is a kind of cellular terminal used to transfer data over public networks (GPRS/CDMA/WCDMA/EVDO/LTE). It also supports the Zigbee function. It has an industrial high-power 32 bit processor and embedded real-time operating system and supports RS232 ports, Ethernet, and WiFi that can conveniently and transparently connect devices to a cellular network, allowing you to connect existing devices with only basic configuration. It has been widely used in machine to machine (M2M) communication in a number of fields such as POS terminals, smart transportation, industrial automation, water supply, environmental protection, postal services, weather services, and more.

Crazyflie 2.1 (20 micro-drones)

This flying development platform weighs only 27 g and can be held in the palm of your hand. It is equipped with low latency/long range radio. These platforms come with a variety of sensors, allowing you to broaden the range of scenarios that can be simulated.

The Loco positioning system

This local positioning system is used to find the absolute 3D position of objects in space. It is similar to a miniature GPS system for use in confined spaces. The system has a set of eight anchors positioned in the room that play the same role as satellites in a GPS system. The other part of the system consists of one or more RFID tags (similar to GPS receivers) attached to the objects being tracked. By sending short, high-frequency radio messages between the anchors and the tags, this system measures the distance between them, which allows it to calculate the tags’ positions. The system is fully compatible with Crazyflie 2.1 platforms.

DJI Matrice 100

This flight platform is fully customizable and programmable. Its technology allows for safe, easy handling and custom programming using the DJI SDK. The Matrice 100 can carry equipment and sensors weighing up to 1 Kg. This allows you to test new technological concepts for characterizing next-generation wireless communications beyond 5G.

Channel state information (CSI) acquisition card

This measurement and experimentation tool extracts detailed information on wireless communication channels from WiFi network cards. This includes CSI, the payload of the data packets received and other information (RSSI for each antenna, data flow, etc.). A number of versions of this platform can be used to conduct tests with office computers or laptops (12 Intel Wi-Fi Wireless Link 5300 cards and 12 Atheros AR9580 cards) or dedicated equipment for IoT applications (5 Arduino YUN cards).

DFRobotShop Rover V2 (10 robots)

These mobile and versatile tracked robots are compatible with Arduino thanks to its popular Arduino Uno USB Microcontroller Rev 3. The Rover is equipped with a dual-engine gearbox allowing it to quickly adjust its speed for greater agility. It supports Bluetooth and ZigBee, making it compatible with a wide range of sensors.

Computer resources

Students and members of the INRS wireless communications research group have access to a powerful calculation server, including the following components:

  • Intel Xeon Silver 4216, 16C/32T double processor with 4x 16GB RAM
  • Intel Xeon E5-2643 4C/8T processor with 4x 8GB RAM
  • 1.5 TB file server

In partnership with industry, the academic community, and government, the groundbreaking team at the INRS Wireless Laboratory works to promote innovation and research and training excellence in the development of future wireless technologies and applications. Please contact us for more information.

Below are a few examples of the Wireless Laboratory’s achievements:

  • A new radio interface technology for 5G, 5G+, and 6G
    Advanced localization and navigation techniques for confined spaces.
  • Wireless sensor networks for the Internet of Things and the 4.0 industry

The Wireless Laboratory was created with funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and serves numerous university, industrial, and institutional.

Contacts

Sofiène Affes

Professor and Scientific leader

info@wirelesslab.ca
514-228-7000