PAWR Program Announces Launch of AERPAW Test Bench for Advanced Research in Wireless Connectivity and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Now generally available for research access, AERPAW is a unique aerial wireless experimentation platform.

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) project office announces the general availability of the AERPAW wireless test bench for network communications and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) research. Situated in Raleigh, North Carolina, the AERPAW (Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless) test bench is designed to accelerate the integration of UAS into national airspace and enable research into advanced wireless technologies supporting dynamic, mobile networks and airborne.

AERPAW uniquely combines programmable networking and custom drones to enable airspace research and wireless operations

In the first phase of operations, the AERPAW test bed includes two fixed network nodes on the Centennial campus in North Carolina State University, and a tower with a fixed node deployed at the Lake Wheeler Field Laboratory, an agricultural site owned by the university. These fixed nodes combine with two aerial nodes on custom multicopter drones and a portable node attached to a ground rover. All nodes feature software-defined radios that can be configured to create different types of network environments using a variety of open source software stacks.

Initially, AERPAW supports UAS experiments that allow researchers to collect signal measurement data with a single drone flying over a trajectory preprogrammed by the researcher. Taking into account the variables of speed, direction and location in space, this data collection will provide valuable information on radio performance and network optimization opportunities. Future supported experiments will include on-the-fly dynamic vehicle control capability, new network nodes being built across the entire test bed footprint, and integration of radio hardware and software. commercial alongside open source network components.

“The AERPAW platform uniquely combines a programmable wireless network with custom drones to enable research on both airspace operations and wireless connectivity via 4G, 5G and beyond.” , said Ismail Guvenc, AERPAW Principal Investigator and Engineering Professor at NC state. “Given the tremendous interest from the public and private sectors, we are excited to see where the first experiments are leading and what early ideas might emerge from the research community.”

“The PAWR program initiated the development of four wireless testbeds to be used as shared national infrastructure assets,” said Gurdip Singh, division director for computer systems and networks at the National Science Foundation. “AERPAW marks the third platform to achieve general availability, and the first with a direct focus on application-level research through its use of unmanned aerial vehicles. We could not be happier to recognize the progress made by the AERPAW team and welcome researchers to the North Carolina Platform.”

AERPAW is the result of a multi-institutional partnership led by NC state with the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina, Renaissance Institute of Computer Science, Mississippi State University, University of South Carolina, Purdue University, City of Cary, City of Raleigh, North Carolina Ministry of Transport and many other university, industrial and municipal partners.

“This is just the start for AERPAW,” said Marc Hoit, vice-chancellor of information technology at NC state. “We are excited to bring experimenters to the platform and look forward to expanding the capabilities of the test bed to enable even greater innovation in academia and industry on wireless and wireless aerial systems. pilot. “

The PAWR program is funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and an industry consortium of 35 leading wireless companies. It is managed by the PAWR Project Office, which is co-led by the nonprofit US Ignite and Northeastern University. In addition to AERPAW, the PAWR program platforms include: POWDER in Salt Lake City, Utah; COSMOS in New York City; and ARA, a new rural broadband test bed in Ames, Iowa. The PAWR program also includes other resources and facilities, including Colosseum, the world’s largest radio frequency emulator, and OpenAirX-Labs (OAX), a neutral lab environment for the development and testing of an open 5G software stack. reference source.

For more information on the PAWR program, visit To view images of a drone demo experience on the AERPAW platform, visit the AERPAW Project Updates page.

About the PAWR Project Office (PPO)
The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research Project Office (PPO) manages the $ 100 million public-private partnership and oversees the research platforms. The PPO is co-led by US Ignite and Northeastern University, and funded by the US National Science Foundation and an industry consortium PAWR. The PPO works closely with the wireless research community, local communities and industry, in part through the industry consortium, in the design, development, deployment and initial operations of the research platforms.

Media contact:
Sarah Archer-Days
[email protected]


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SOURCE Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR)

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