University of Utah

Welcome to the Sensing and Processing Across Networks (SPAN) lab! The SPAN lab is part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah.

The SPAN lab develops inventions for wireless networks which improve their security, reliability, self-awareness, and sensing capabilities. Research applies statistical signal processing, networking, and radio propagation techniques. The innovations have application in localization and tracking, secret key generation for wireless networks, network design and deployment, modeling and analysis. The lab, directed by Neal Patwari, is a combination of the efforts of several graduate and undergraduate researchers.

SPAN Announcements and News

Radio Tomography Demonstrated at Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Week

Joey Wilson and Prof. Neal Patwari demonstrated "Real-time Tag-free Localization using Radio Tomography" at CPS Week 2009 in San Francisco, CA, on April 13, 2009. CPS Week is a forum which brings together researchers in three areas of CPS -- real-time embedded systems, sensor networks, and hybrid systems. The demo and poster session was packed with people and many visitors were able to participate in the radio tomographic imaging (RTI) demo. As many as eight people at a time stood or moved in the RTI area (a square area surrounded by radios) and a laptop showed an image of where in the square they were located.

Visitors to RTI demo at CPS Week 2009 Visitor to RTI demo and RTI estimate at CPS Week 2009
Figure: Visitors interact with the radio tomographic imaging demonstration system. The real-time demo shows an estimate on the laptop of where in the square area attenuating objects, including people, are located.


Matt Welsh presents SoC Distinguished Lecture

Professor Matt Welsh, of Harvard University, will present the SoC Distinguished Lecture, "A New Era of Resource Responsibility for Sensor Networks", on Monday, March 23, 2009, in 1230 WEB, at 3:40pm. Matt Welsh is a leading expert in operating systems and languages to enable environmental sensor networking systems.

New Radio Tomographic Imaging Video

Thanks to the Utah College of Engineering, we now have a radio tomographic imaging video that displays the actual video footage synchronized with the results of the RTI reconstruction. The red spots indicate high attenuation, while blue indicates no attenuation. Here it is:


Conference Paper Accepted: Location Distinction in a MIMO Channel

Dustin Maas and Neal Patwari's abstract entitled "Location Distinction in a MIMO Channel" has been accepted to the Virginia Tech 2009 Wireless Symposium. This paper shows that location distinction techniques can be applied to a MIMO channel and that the performance of these techniques in a MIMO channel is significantly better than that of a SISO channel.

Conference Paper Accepted: Regularization Methods for Radio Tomographic Imaging

Joey Wilson and Neal Patwari's abstract entitled "Regularization Methods for Radio Tomographic Imaging" has been accepted to the Virginia Tech 2009 Wireless Symposium. This paper applies regularization methods such as Tikhonov, H1, Truncated SVD, and Total Variation to the radio tomographic imaging problem, and shows how each method results in different image characteristics.

Mobicom 2008 Best Demo Award

Joey Wilson at Mobicom 2008
Figure: Joey Wilson stands inside of the deployed wireless network during the Mobicom 2008 Student Research Demo Competition. The changes in path losses measured between sensors is used in an inverse algorithm to estimate how much attenuation is caused as a function of space. The current image estimate is projected onto the wall behind him, showing in dark red where he is estimated to be.

Congratulations to graduate student Joey Wilson, who on Wed. September 17 won the MobiCom 2008 Student Research Demo Competition! (See the U of U's "Recognizing U" site) Joey presented the demo, "Radio Tomographic Imaging", on Tuesday, September 16, among nineteen student research demos presented at the Mobicom 2008 conference. It had been accepted from among 28 demo proposals submitted. On Wednesday morning, Joey found out his demo was accepted to be a finalist along with two other demos. He prepared a talk and participated in a talk competition with the other finalists. Wednesday evening, it was announced that Joey had won the student research demo competition.

The demo, "Radio Tomographic Imaging" (RTI) demonstrates Joey's research into radio signal strength-based passive imaging of people and objects who are within a wireless network deployment area. The goal is to use large networks of extremely simple radio devices to image motion within rooms and buildings from behind walls. The research is funded by an NSF CAREER award #ECCS-0748206, for "RF-Sensing Networks for Radio Tomographic Environmental Imaging", supervised by Prof. Neal Patwari.

ACM MobiCom 2008, held in San Francisco, is the 14th in a series of annual conferences sponsored by ACM SIGMOBILE dedicated to addressing the challenges in the areas of mobile computing and wireless and mobile networking. The MobiCom conference series serves as the premier international forum addressing networks, systems, algorithms, and applications that support the symbiosis of mobile computers and wireless networks. MobiCom is a highly selective conference focusing on all issues in mobile computing and wireless and mobile networking at the link layer and above.

Tech Report: Radio Tomographic Imaging With Wireless Networks

Joey Wilson and Neal Patwari of the SPAN lab have published a technical report entitled "Radio Tomographic Imaging With Wireless Networks." RTI is a technology that is capable of imaging and tracking objects within a wireless network. This report discusses the linear formulation and reconstruction algorithms that can be implemented using only received signal strength, and describes some results that we've obtained with a prototype implementation. This is still a work in progress, so please report any corrections that you find.

Radio Tomographic Imaging with Wireless Networks
Joey Wilson and Neal Patwari, , University of Utah, 17 Sep 2008

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