The LAURA project aims to develop and evaluate new technologies for high-speed wireless local area networks, based on radio communications techniques, for linking computers, workstations and servers.
The project will assess the advantages in using emerging broadband and spread-spectrum techniques to achieve a high data rate (10 Mbit/s is to be considered a realistic target). A trade-off will be established between system performance and the available radio bandwidths. In line with current recommendations being discussed by CEPT, it is expected that high-frequency bands around 17 GHz will be used. The project will evaluate the application of CSMA/CD algorithms, which allow point-to-point data transfer at full channel speed. In addition, the advantages of using a spread spectrum in order to improve transmission quality in the presence of electromagnetic noise will be investigated.
The technologies developed will be compatible, as far as possible, with emerging European standards in the area of high-performance radio LANs (such as ETSI RES-10, HIPERLAN). Technical evaluations undertaken as part of the project will be proposed as input to these standards activities. In addition, compatibility with existing standards in the field of wired LANs will be taken into account in order to interface to existing network management software and higher layer protocols.
The project will first prepare a system specification, focusing on the radio link characteristics. The next step will be the design of the system architecture, involving the definition of the hardware components (antenna, transceiver, digital signal processing, access devices and computer interface) and software components (communication protocols, computer interfaces, and network management software interface). The various components will then be designed and developed. Finally, a system prototype will be integrated and tested. A validated prototype will be available at the end of the project.
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