News Release: SUNY Poly, University at Buffalo Team up on UnionLabs Project Enabling Shared Testbed Resources

News Release: SUNY Poly, University at Buffalo Team up on UnionLabs Project Enabling Shared Testbed Resources

Monday, July 10, 2023 - 10:10
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For Release:        Immediate – July 10, 2023
Contact:               Steve Ference, Director of University Marketing & Communications | (518) 429-7742 |

SUNY Poly, University at Buffalo Team up on UnionLabs Project Enabling Shared Testbed Resources

$60K SUNY IITG grant to support creation of an open, cloud-enabled federation of testbeds where data, code, software, and hardware resources can be shared

UTICA, NY – Faculty at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and the University at Buffalo (UB) have partnered on a project called, “SUNY OpenIoTLab: The SUNY Laboratory Federation for Wireless Intelligent Internet of Things.” The two universities recently announced that the project is a recipient of a $60,000 SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant.

Ultimately, the project will develop UnionLabs, an open, cloud-enabled federation of heterogeneous testbeds for sharing data, code, software and hardware resources for research in next-generation networks and wireless Internet of Things. Currently, there isn’t a mature and shared facility to support rigorous and repeatable experimental evaluation of wireless networked systems, which have seen significant change in past decades. This joint effort, led by UB’s Dr. Zhangyu Guan and Dr. Nicholas Mastronarde, and SUNY Poly Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Program Dr. Timothy E. Busch, will work to address that need, along with key project personnel Associate Professor Michael J. Medley, Associate Professor Daniel Benincasa, and Adjunct Professor Chester Wright, with Assistant Professor Arjun Singh also joining the project.

The proposed UnionLabs initiative will provide the Air Force, University at Buffalo, as well as the whole wireless community, an open experimental ecosystem whereby researchers and engineers can conveniently collaborate and share experimental resources, including data, code, and hardware, with significantly enhanced diversity, generalizability, and accessibility. Once successfully deployed, UnionLabs would serve as the global entry for academia, the U.S. Department of Defense and industrial researchers to conduct experimental research in the field of next-generation networks and wireless Internet of Things.

“Given the evolution of wireless network systems in recent years and the impact on our daily lives, there is a great need for a shared resource for collaboration, education, and experimentation of these systems,” said Dr. Busch. “Significant efforts have been made to fill the void, and this project between SUNY Poly and the University at Buffalo is yet another step forward. We are grateful for this grant and for the support we have received from our peers, project partners, and institutions.”

"While existing community shared facilities have significantly advanced experimental research for new wireless systems, it is still challenging to fully meet the needs of experimental wireless research in terms of diversity, generalizability, and accessibility,” said Dr. Guan, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “We very much thank the SUNY IITG Program for supporting the UnionLabs vision of SUNY Poly and University at Buffalo. This provides us a great opportunity towards addressing these grand challenges."

UnionLabs’ objectives include: creating a collaborative campaign to democratize access to wireless research testbeds with heterogeneous hardware resources (e.g., robots, radios, CPU/FPGA/GPU) and network environments spanning aerial, ground, underwater, and underground domains, and in a wide range of frequency bands, from sub-6 GHz (including acoustic/ultrasonic bands) up to the mmWave and terahertz bands; deploying a federation plane that will be hosted in the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud to bridge the testbeds and users and enable researchers to share, remotely access, and control their resources and conduct experiments collaboratively via a unified user interface; and building a two-tier cloud, comprising a public cloud powered by AWS and edge computing resources at individual wireless systems to allow researchers to share experimental datasets, wireless communication, networking and sensing algorithms/code, and evaluate them over heterogeneous testbeds.

UnionLabs’ federation plane APIs will be made available for other wireless testbeds to join the federation. The UnionLabs team also plans to eventually commercialize it by launching a startup, ensuring that it is sustainable long-term.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
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