2006 RESEARCH TOPICS

Project Description Prerequisites
Hardware Projects
Cognitive Radio Advanced communication system design with Xilinx ISE and Core Generator Software: VHDL, Xilinx ISE
Hardware:
Xilinx FPGA
Embedded Processor System Design Embedded processor system design with Xilinx soft microprocessor - MicroBlaze Software: VHDL, Xilinx ISE
Hardware:
Xilinx FPGA
Software Projects
Mote testbed Develop a sensor network testbed by integrating motes onto Orbit testbed and building experimental infrastructure Sotfware: Linux, C/C++, Java
VOIP VOIP implementation on Orbit platform Software: Linux, C/C++, Socket Programming
802.11 Monitoring 802.11 monitoring and dirstibuted packet capture/analysis Software: XML, DHTML, SQL , Java
Vehicular Traffic Monitoring Design and Prototype a system that estimates traffic congestion from in-bus GPS receivers Software: Linux, C, XML, Java
Wireless Throughput Measurement Measuring wireless network end-to-end throughput for simple topologies on Orbit testbed Software: Linux, C/C++, Java
802.11 Security The aim of this project is exposing several security flaws that come "built-in" with 802.11 as well as to design and develop a wireless honeypot
Software: Linux device drivers, C/C++, Socket programming
Robotic Mobility Robotic platform imlementation of various ORBIT related mobility models Software: Linux, C, XML, Java
802.11 Interference Generator Implement Aetheros chipset based 802.11 interference generator Software: Linux device drivers, C/C++, Socket programming

 

Cognitive Radio Design with Xilinx Integrated Software Environment and Xilinx Core Generator

This project will take students through the process of designing a prototype hardware system on a Xilinx FPGA Development Board. Field Programmable Gate Array, or FPGA is a programmable logic device consisting of thousands to tens of thousands of gates and can be used to prototype Integrated Circuit designs for a variety of applications, be it networking, data, imaging or voice. These project will make use of the Xilinx FPGA Design Platform and will involve the implementation of some of the blocks provided by the Xilinx Core Library, such as the Digital Synthesizer, Numerically Controlled Oscillator or Digital Down Converter along with other hardware modules that are required to build a complete working system. Xilinx ISE software will be used to implement the steps in the hardware design flow - starting from design specification, design synthesis, implementation to programming the end Xilinx FPGA device. The system will be verified by performing behavioral, structural and timing simulations using Logic Simulators and finally on-board testing will be carried out to validate the design.

Embedded Processor System Design With Xilinx Soft Microprocessor - MicroBlaze

This project will involve the use of the Embedded Processor Development Kit provided by Xilinx, particularly the implementation and application of its 32-bit soft microprocessor, MicroBlaze. MicroBlaze, an embedded soft core, is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC), optimized for implementation in a Xilinx FPGA. The hardware components of the system consist of MicroBlaze soft core along with other hardware blocks defined by the user and implemented on the target FPGA. The software components of the system consist of the software platform created by Xilinx tools along with application software written by the user.

Mote testbed

Sensor networks are a relatively young research area. Many protocols from different levels of the network stack have been proposed recently, but their utilities are yet to be validated using actual platforms, mainly due to the absence an easy-to-use experimental methodology. For example, even if a researcher possesses a reasonable number of Berkeley motes (standard sensor platform), the mere workload of uploading the program to each mote is unbearable. Therefore, conducting sensor network experiments will become less challenging if an open-access testbed is available. The objective of this project is to build such a testbed, involving the students integrating Berkeley motes to the existing Orbit testbed, and developing a standard experimental infrastructure. Such an infrastructure should include an application development component, an application installation component, and an application-profiling component. In addition to delivering an experimental testbed that can ease sensor network researchers from tedious implementation issues, this experience will help students develop skills in the following important domains: Linux programming, NesC/TinyOS programming, and large-scale system design and software engineering.

802.11 Monitoring

Just as security policies for the wired network exist in organizations, with the growing deployment of 802.11 bases access mechanisms, there is a growing concern amongst network administrators, to ensure that the network is secure. However, unlike the wired network where one needs to be plugged into a jack in order to gain access, in the wireless network, the intruders/war drivers need not be physically located on the premises Thus, there is a growing need for a wireless monitoring solution that continously monitors the wireless environment, detects any inconsistencies and can pre-empt any DOS attacks.This project is motivated by this requirement and the goal is to design a wireless monitoring system that can be deployed on laptops or smaller embedded platforms ( and hence is small enough to fit into 128MB Compact Flash cards) and have the capability of capturing, reporting and storing sniffed information on a per packet basis into a database

Steps involved (or things that you will learn on the way even if you dont know):

  1. Knowledge of 802.11 drivers (Cisco Aironet , Prism2 and Atheros based cards)
  2. How to put the cards in monitoring mode
  3. Understand RF monitoring
  4. Capture packets and report to database
  5. Build a database and interface for the monitoring application to report information to the database
  6. Ability to view reported information in real-time (optional)

802.11 Security

The 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) standard, is widely used and forms the basis behind every WLAN product, whether it is wireless interface cards used on a laptop or the access points that serve these laptops. Unfortunately, the medium access control or MAC sublayer of this standard also serves as an example of faulty protocol design in which security has been added as an afterthought, rather than being incorporated from the ground up, leaving gaping security holes. Students will be asked to scrutinize every aspect of the 802.11 MAC protocol so as to come up with, and implement, innovative ways to "break" the protocol. In the second phase, the students will design a wireless honeypot system. A honeypot is defined as : "An information system resource whose value lies in unauthorized or illicit use of that resource". Students will create a wireless network, with a single AP and one or more other computers, solely to attract attackers/intruders. Using a dedicated data capturing mechanism they will log all unauthorised activity on this network. The network ideally should have automated traffic generated on it to resemble a normal network, to fool a passive observer. Students will have to also play the attacker and demonstrate an unauthorised use of this network and the logs tracking this use. Example setups could use a real AP with some simple security settings or a fake (software) AP complete with a fake web based management interface which attracts hackers trying to change the network configuration (while logging the details of any such attempt).

Traffic Monitoring

There is a widespread belief that traffic congestion can be alleviated by providing drivers (or their navigation systems) with more timely information about traffic jams. In the future, this information could be gathered over a wireless network from in-vehicle GPS receivers. This project can make use of the GPS receivers and the future ORBIT wireless network available on the Rutgers bus system. Students will design the system and build the application that computes real-time traffic congestion from GPS location traces.

Wireless Throughput Measurement

Estimating end-to-end throughput of different wireless topologies is an important and challenging task. Measured throughput results for simpler topologies can serve as building blocks to estimate throughput for much more complex topologies. In this project, the students will first set up various simple network topologies using Orbit testbed, and measure their throughput. In addition, the students will also need to plug in different MAC protocols to study their impact on the end-to-end throughput. This exercise will help students understand the design and implementation of different network protocols, as well as get familiar with the national wireless testbed.

802.11 Interference Generator

Wireless network research benefits from being able to raise the noise floor through interference generators, because the radio range is scaled down so that experiments can be conducted in a smaller space. This project explores using standard 802.11 radios based on the Atheros chipset as interference generators. Students will modify the linux device driver to enable interference generation and test a variety of interfere positions and strengths for effectiveness.