CRC: Collaborative research and teaching testbed for wireless communications and networks
The validation of wireless communications research, whether it is focused on PHY, MAC or higher layers, can be done in several ways, each with its limitations. Simulations tend to be simplified. Equipping wireless labs requires funding and time. Remotely accessible testbeds present a good option to validate research. The existing testbeds have gone a long way in building the infrastructure for managing and operating themselves. Yet, there is still space to improve the administration of resources whether it is nodes, frequency spectrum or storage space. In this work, we present the Collaborative Radio Cloud (CRC), a wireless testbed that enables web/remote access to facilitate research experiments in the field of wireless communications and networks. CRC is built upon the contributions made by current testbeds and incorporates new features to improve the user experience and ameliorate the management of resources. It enables multiple simultaneous users to coexist in the testbed by enforcing an elaborate node isolation policy. Software dedicated to the enforcement of spectrum assignment was developed to further ensure the isolation between concurrent users. A tool that is capable of realizing a desired topology using gain control was developed. CRC also operates a scheduler that optimizes node assignment to maximize testbed utilization. Enhancements to disk image saving are being developed to reduce the required storage. Other than research, CRC targets contributing to the education of wireless communications and networks by providing experiments and a web interface dedicated to students and instructors. © 2016 ACM.