• Big Data
    Interagency Working Group
    (BD IWG)

    The Big Data Interagency Working Group (BD IWG) works to facilitate and further the goals of the White House Big Data R&D Initiative.

  • Cyber Physical Systems Interagency Working Group (CPS IWG)

    The CPS IWG is to coordinate programs, budgets, and policy recommendations for Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) research and development (R&D).

  • Cyber Security and Information Assurance Interagency Working Group (CSIA IWG)

    Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) Interagency Working Group coordinates the activities of the CSIA Program Component Area.

  • Health IT R&D
    Interagency Working Group

    The Health Information Technology Research and Development Interagency Working Group coordinates programs, budgets and policy recommendations for Health IT R&D.

  • Human Computer Interaction & Information Management Interagency Working Group (HCI&IM IWG)

    HCI&IM focuses on information interaction, integration, and management research to develop and measure the performance of new technologies.

  • High Confidence Software & Systems Interagency Working Group (HCSS IWG)

    HCSS R&D supports development of scientific foundations and enabling software and hardware technologies for the engineering, verification and validation, assurance, and certification of complex, networked, distributed computing systems and cyber-physical systems (CPS).

  • High End Computing Interagency Working Group (HEC IWG)

    The HEC IWG coordinates the activities of the High End Computing (HEC) Infrastructure and Applications (I&A) and HEC Research and Development (R&D) Program Component Areas (PCAs).

  • Large Scale Networking Interagency Working Group
    (LSN IWG)

    LSN members coordinate Federal agency networking R&D in leading-edge networking technologies, services, and enhanced performance.

  • Software Productivity, Sustainability, and Quality Interagency Working Group (SPSQ IWG)

    The purpose of the SPSQ IWG is to coordinate the R&D efforts across agencies that transform the frontiers of software science and engineering and to identify R&D areas in need of development that span the science and the technology of software creation and sustainment.

  • Video and Image Analytics
    Interagency Working Group (VIA IWG)

    Formed to ensure and maximize successful coordination and collaboration across the Federal government in the important and growing area of video and image analytics

    VIA CG
  • Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Interagency Working Group (WSRD IWG)

    The Wireless Spectrum R&D (WSRD) Interagency Working Group (IWG) has been formed to coordinate spectrum-related research and development activities across the Federal government.


File:WSRD Workshop Report Boulder July 2011.pdf

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WSRD_Workshop_Report_Boulder_July_2011.pdf(file size: 868 KB, MIME type: application/pdf)


1. Executive Summary

In June, 2010, the President issued a memorandum, Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,1 which identified the importance of providing adequate spectrum “to support the forthcoming myriad of wireless devices, networks, and applications that can drive the new economy.” To help “wring abundance from scarcity,” the memorandum called upon the Secretary of Commerce to “create and implement a plan to facilitate research, development, experimentation, and testing by researchers to explore innovative spectrum-sharing technologies…”

In response to this charge, the National Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program created the Wireless Spectrum R&D Senior Steering Group (WSRD SSG), which brings together representatives of all of the federal agencies that conduct or support spectrum-related research. Upon its formation in November, 2010, and at the urging of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, the WSRD group quickly recognized the importance of reaching out to private industry and academia as an avenue of coordinating national wireless R&D investments.

In July, 2011, the WSRD SSG held its first workshop to engage key representatives of the industrial and academic communities. The workshop was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology at its Boulder, Colorado, facility, and was held in conjunction with the International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies. The workshop was structured as a roundtable discussion among technical experts and researchers from private industry, public safety, and academia to explore ongoing spectrum-related Federal Government R&D activities as listed in an inventory2 created by the WSRD SSG members. The participants were asked to explore the inventory and offer their thoughts on a national-level wireless technology initiative. They were asked to suggest avenues of research that the participants believe are presently underrepresented in federal R&D and that are not being pursued in private industry research laboratories. The goal was to focus on identifying R&D that may have large potential payoffs for the national wireless industry and the nation’s economy at large. In addition, it needed to be consistent with the Federal Government’s role in sponsoring “high-risk high-reward” research.

The workshop was comprised of three interactive discussion sessions which built upon each other to achieve the final workshop objective.3 Dr. Paul Kolodzy of DARPA convened the first session by asking the participants to consider current spectrum sharing opportunities. The results of that discussion included general agreement that:

  • The current spectrum allocations and assignments require specific analysis for each band’s potential for sharing and that grouping bands and services for sharing is impracticable
  • Sharing needs to be broken into three levels: (a) sharing of similar legacy systems; (b) sharing of dissimilar systems; and (c) adaptive systems that enable systems to change dependent upon conditions (i.e. national emergency)
  • Providers at both the federal and the commercial level consider shared use as an impediment to their quality of service (QoS) requirements. Incentives will be required to improve both sectors’ willingness to share spectrum, and
  • Currently there are many instances of spectrum sharing bands inclusive of primary, co-primary, and secondary spectrum allocations as well as unlicensed devices.

The second session was led by Dr. Rangam Subramanian of Idaho National Laboratory and covered the topic of perceived gaps in current technology development and ideas for future research emphasis. Participants felt the major gaps in current spectrum sharing research were:

  • Technologies for broadband sensing and situational awareness
  • Quantification of interference
  • Technical and policy developments related to enforcement of rules
  • Realistic testbeds for advanced spectrum sharing research
  • End-to-end system-oriented analysis and integration
  • Spectrum sharing protocols, and
  • The lack of a sufficient talent pool for developing analog systems.

Drs. Subramanian and Kolodzy jointly lead the third session which focused on creating a capabilities development roadmap. Each participant was challenged to name two specific research topics that, based on their expertise, were the most valuable for the Federal Government to pursue. The following areas were recurring themes among the expert participants:

  • Understanding spectrum utilization including dynamic spectrum inventory and databases
  • Quantifying interference and the development of interference benchmarks
  • Developing incentives for Federal/non-Federal sharing (including economic)
  • Providing complete system deployment analysis for spectrum sharing techniques and technologies such as testbeds, and
  • Establishing sharing protocols.

Toward Innovative Spectrum Sharing Technologies was the first in a planned series of workshops that will engage federal and non-federal communities in furthering the goal of moving toward a nation-wide shared spectrum environment. The input from this roundtable discussion was extremely valuable and the ideas expressed by the participants will shape the agenda for the next workshop (planned for January 2012) as well as the short and long-term goals of the group. NITRD and its WSRD SSG thank the workshop participants for their time and effort in providing their valuable insight to the Federal Government R&D process, and we look forward to continued engagement with the private, public safety, and academic communities.

1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-unleashing-wireless-broadband-revolution , June 10, 2010

2 https://www.nitrd.gov/nitrdgroups/images/f/f0/WSRD_Project_Inventory_15.pdf

3 The WSRD Co-chairs, Mr. Byron Barker of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Dr. Andrew Clegg of the National Science Foundation, instructed the participants to please limit their comments to technical and R&D-related facets. They acknowledged that the policy questions surrounding this issue are critically important, but asked that they be reserved for a different venue.


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