[Namaste-dev] Tom and cognitive radio and us

Bob McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 21:31:07 PDT 2008

In my opinion, this is almost off the rails.

Tom is a brilliant guy and he has just joined our team at the Center for 
Communications Research. He got here through the "good old person 
network" (me). I have a very large agenda for Tom until the fall. He is 
on his own to do what he wishes but you should be aware that his primary 
goal is getting tenure for an unforgiving master (our research staff).

We had a conversation today about his earliest days in SDR. He was made 
all sorts of promises about SDR and why he should do cognition on these 
infinitely capable radios and he had to reaim his entire thesis when he 
hit reality.

Like Namaste and all other undeveloped things, the SDR were infinitely 
powerful and we are not ready to consider cognition.

Charles, Tom, and I are daily doing design and programming of the 
necessary algorithms for cognition. Frank Brickle is designing the 
virtual radio kernel for us to be able to do distributed computing over 
a wide range of devices.

We have not even begun to assemble our first serious cognitive radio. 
All we have are toys. We know that for any serious need if a radio needs 
X computing resources (take your pick) a cognitive radio will take NX 
where N is not a tiny positive integer.

The easiest thing to do of all is template matching for known waveforms 
but it is very intense computation.

My strongest possible admonition is to walk before we attempt to launch 
a permanent manned presence to Mars.

We need the basic architecture for the ground and space segment designed 
so we can run an experiment. Following the successful build and test of 
this experiment, we have a REAL plan to get real funding from a joint 
California/DHS program. AGAIN, Tom Rondeau and I are involved in this.

These are terrific and lofty goals and do this every single day of my 
life but I spent three years working on GnuRadio and Flex Radio before I 
even began to believe I had sufficient expertise and equipment to do 
this kind of development.


ARRL SDR Working Group Chair. Member: ARRL, AMSAT, AMSAT-DL,
“Trample the slow ....  Hurdle the dead"

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