GNU Radio is a software application that allows you to rapid prototype almost any type of radio application or pieces of the application. It’s the most important program used with SDR. It works by allowing you to build a flow chart for your radio application and allows you to generate python applications based on those flow charts. Flow Charts in GNU radio are post fixed with a GRC extension and the blocks on the flowchart can resemble lots of things such as filters resamples or even driver references for SDR devices. Blocks are a xml file found in the site-packages folder inside python installation area of your OS. They usually have a code behind if they are not default GNU Radio blocks.
GNU Radio Project Call November 2019
GNU Radio Project Call November 2019
PR Review 6-Nov-2019Martin does a live review of the PR queue.
GRCon19 - Fixing the E310 Bottleneck: Implementing a High-Rate Heterogeneous... by Edward KreinarFixing the E310 Bottleneck: Implementing a High-Rate Heterogeneous FPGA DMA Transport
by Edward Kreinar, Lorin Metzger, Dan CaJacob
FPGAs are a common solution when accelerating software defined radio processing in an embedded form factor, but several implementation-specific limitations need to be addressed in order to take full advantage of today’s heterogeneous processing capabilities. Case in point: Ettus’s E310 embedded family of devices, a Zynq-based architecture, struggles to transfer an uninterrupted stream of 2 Msps between the FPGA and a Gnuradio application running in the Zynq’s ARM-based processor. As a counter example, Analog Devices’s “libiio” family of software, which is compatible with Zynq and Altera SoCs, is able to transfer the full rate of multichannel (2x) TX/RX streaming data at 61.44 Msps between FPGA and host processor. In an effort to build FPGA-based applications within RFNoC, Hawkeye 360 has explored the limitations, causes, and potential resolutions to the E310’s relatively poor FPGA/ARM transport performance, and in doing so, has created an alternate transport for the E310 hardware which achieves full-rate data transfers between FPGA and ARM.
This talk will first discuss the observed limitations of the E310 performance bottleneck; when can the existing embedded E310 transport be used “as-is”? Secondly, the talk will summarize common software and hardware paradigms for direct memory access (DMA) transport between FPGA and host in a SoC architecture, and identify the root cause of poor performance; why does the libiio architecture perform an order of magnitude better than the E310 solution? Finally, Hawkeye 360 will discuss a “do it yourself” approach, whereby a Xilinx DMA core plus a custom kernel module optimized for high-rate data transfers can sustain continuous and bursted data transfers into Gnuradio applications within a heterogenous RFNoC flowgraph.
GRCon19 - Optimizing Radio Settings for Algorithms by Robin GetzOptimizing Radio Settings for Algorithms by Robin Getz
In the book The Martian, Andy Weir wrote “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.” While most RF designs aren’t the life and death Mr Weir was writing about in his book; people involved in RF receiver design have the same sort overwhelming odds of not receiving things as Mark Watney did on the surface of Mars.
This presentation will look at Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS–B), which uses a 1 Mbit/s Pulse Position Modulation (PPM) scheme at 1090 MHz for airplane position sensing. From defining quality metrics, to making a reproducible test framework, we will explore what sort of radio settings are needed to maximize reception of good packets using a specific radio (in this case the ADALM-PLUTO, which should be also applicable to the NI B200 series and the Nuand BladeRF 2.0 micro).
GRCon19 - Huntsville's Connection to Space by Mike WardHuntsville's Connection to Space by Mike Ward, Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce
GRCon19 - Spectrum Monitoring Network: Tradeoffs, Results, and Future Directions by Peter MathysSpectrum Monitoring Network: Tradeoffs, Results, and Future Directions by Peter Mathys, Todd Schumann, Jeff Wepman, Mike Cotton
Due to its high inherent cost, there is limited use of professional grade test equipment in the field to monitor, or even identify, spectrum usage. Therefore, to supplement existing, high-accuracy measurements, there is a large interest in using lower-cost software defined radio (SDRs) receivers as replacements for the high-cost spectrum analyzers in RF measurement systems which are far less expensive to construct. Doing this allows measurements that are (1) continuous or at least much more frequent, (2) more densely located (in frequency and location), and (3) remotely controllable, and even allows additional measurements not practical using current solutions (e.g. simultaneous measurements of the same signal from many locations). However, there is an inherent trade-off in using the less expensive equipment to make these measurements in terms of price versus performance. Additionally, there can be a complex up-front characterization procedure necessary to ensure the accuracy of measurements.
Signal analyzers and SDRs can span several decades in terms of cost, some as low as $10, others over $10,000 or even $100,000. The obvious tradeoff between the different tiers is measurement accuracy/reliability versus the number of deployable sensors within a project budget. However, without a comparison between the tiers of SDRs, no intelligent determination can be made. In this report, we look at several of the key comparators between four representative signal analyzers/SDRs, representing a professional-grade (greater than $100,000), field-grade (greater than $10,000), middle-grade (~$1000), and economic-grade (less than $100). We identify expected performance when used as a spectrum monitor and any additional circuitry considerations required to ensure that the analyzers are accurately measuring the spectrum.
Spectrum Monitoring Goals
Signal Analyzer Architectures
Superheterodyne vs Direct Conversion
Examples of Signal Analyzers
Professional Grade: Keysight PxA N9030B
Field Grade: Keysight N6841A
Middle Grade: Ettus B210/B200 mini
Economic Grade: ADALM PLUTO Pluto SDR (Analog Devices)
SDRs on a Chip
Analog Devices 9361, 9363, 9364
Sensor Density vs Performance Parameters
Example: Boulder Wireless Testbed (BWTB)
User Access Management
Single Board Computers
Example: Raspberry Pi 4
Signal Analyzers for Specific Bands vs Fully Tunable
Using ML to Improve Monitoring
GRCon19 - Man or Machine?: Developing a "Turing Test" for Radio Intelligence by Adam AndersonMan or Machine?: Developing a "Turing Test" for Radio Intelligence by Adam Anderson
A key feature of next-generation communications is the ability of radios to not just operate in, but collaborate through, congested spectrum. In recent years, radios have moved well beyond simple cognition like that found in classical approaches to dynamic spectrum access. With the recent multi-disciplinary interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning, radios are becoming more intelligent at all layers of the protocol stack. In fact, we have shown previously through experimental hardware the so-called deepmod: a radio with the ability to design, train, and operate a PHY layer protocol with minimal traditional signal processing blocks. A natural question for deepmod often arises: How does a machine-generated PHY compare with a human-invented PHY which itself has made great strides in adaptability? However, this work attempts to move beyond this question, instead: What behavior must a radio exhibit in order to qualify as intelligent rather than merely resilient or adaptive? Through experimentation with software radios, we explore this, and other, questions related to next-generation machine-assisted communications and radio links.
GRCon19 -Striving for SDR Performance Portability in the Era of Heterogeneous SoCs by Jeffrey VetterStriving for SDR Performance Portability in the Era of Heterogeneous SoCs by Jeffrey Vetter, Mehmet Belviranli, Seyong Lee, Roberto Gioiosa, Abdel-Kareem Moadi
Future heterogeneous DSSoCs will be extraordinarily complex in terms of processors, memory hierarchies, and interconnection networks. To manage this complexity, architects, system software designers, and application developers need design and programming technologies to be flexible, accurate, efficient, and productive. Recently, our team has started to explore the mapping of GNU Radio to various heterogeneous SoCs in order to understand how programming technologies can support this goal of making this SDR framework performance portable. Using our software stack, we are porting several SDR applications to GPUs from NVIDIA, AMD, and ARM, and to NVIDIA Xavier SoCs, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Xilinx Zynq devices. Our current approach uses a directive-based programming model and a new intelligent runtime scheduler to port and execute the workflows. The initial directive-based approach uses OpenACC as it is a portable, open programming model for heterogeneous systems. This compiler generates tasks that are then queued and scheduled by our intelligent runtime scheduler. Initial performance results appear promising; however, more automation will further broad deployment. Also, we have developed a host of tools to examine and profile SDR workflows and modules. Specifically, these analysis tools enable automated characterization of the behavioral and computational features of GNU Radio blocks and workflows. The static tools in GNR-tools help developers to create ontologies and queries to classify GNR modules based on custom scenarios. The dynamic toolset provides automated profiling capabilities of GNR workflows and presents detailed statistics on how components in a given software defined radio application perform. GNR-tools also produces graph-based representation of the analyzed data and provides powerful visualization options to filter and display the information obtained from the static and dynamic tools. Our software is available as open source software and will be made available to the community.
GRCon19 - UHD Four-O by Martin BraunUHD Four-O by Martin Braun
Ettus Research / National Instruments Sponsor Presentation
GRCon19 - Mega Hertz, Mega Samples, Mega bits, Mega Confusing by Robin GetzMega Hertz, Mega Samples, Mega bits, Mega Confusing by Robin Getz
In this presentation we will review and discuss the data paths between the RF (air interface) and the payload (the data interface), and the common and overloaded terms and units throughout the chain, and how they are used/abused, using a few different examples – Single Side Band (SSB), Frequency Shift Keying (FSK), single carrier Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), multi carrier Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) - and what the introduction of advanced topics like Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) and JESD204 means. Confusing terms like occupied RF bandwidth, synthesized RF bandwidth, single side bandwidth, Samples per second (with respect to converters), interpolation and decimation, samples per second (with respect to interface), symbols per second, bits per second, payload overhead, to bytes per second will all be explained with examples.
This discussion will be kept generic to all zero IF radios, and is applicable to all sorts of devices from the RTL-SDR, to the Analog Devices ADALM-PLUTO to the Naund bladeRF 2.0 to the National Instruments B200 and B210 family of devices.
GRCon19 - Concerning Radio Hardware and Studebaker Repair by Travis GoodspeedConcerning Radio Hardware and Studebaker Repair by Travis Goodspeed
Merchant of Dead Trees and Licensed Proselytizer of the Gospel of the Weird Machines with Pwnage, PoC, and Secular Rock.