Zeng receives NSF funding to explore next-generation wireless systems

February 2, 2018

Headshot of Huacheng ZengDeveloping an interest in electronics at a young age, assistant professor Dr. Huacheng Zeng pursued his dream, which led him to the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Here, Zeng’s research focuses on wireless communications and networking, ranging from theoretical explorations to system implementations. In specific, he is currently exploring designs for next-generation wireless systems, which includes Wi-Fi, 5G, and vehicular communication systems. Through that research, Zeng was awarded an National Science Foundation grant for approximately $250,000 for his work on cooperative interference-embracing communication in multi-hop wireless networks.

Zeng hopes that his work will address a variety of unsolved technical challenges that remain in wireless systems, including spectrum shortages, energy consumption restrictions, and security vulnerabilities. His research group is focusing specifically on designing reliable, high-speed, and energy-efficient wireless communication systems towards realizing the vision of the Internet of Everything.

Currently, the modern paradigm for interference management in wireless systems involves avoidance through the the allocation of different users. Zeng hopes to circumvent this process to achieve a greater efficiency.

“We propose to develop more efficient and practical interference management solutions for multi-hop wireless networks by leveraging the recent advances in physical-layer signal processing, and to evaluate these solutions using real-world implementations on software-defined radio testbeds,” says Zeng.

With the continued advancement of cellular networks and mobile phones evolving phones to satisfy an ever engaged consumer, the need to keep up with and exceed the pace of that continued growth has paved the path for 5G networks that will create the possibility of a multitude of new applications, towards realizing the ideas of Smart Home, Smart Cities, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Intelligent Transportation System.

It’s that horizon that Zeng and his team have set their sights on, to continue to improve upon the capacity and security of the next generation wireless systems. As such, Zeng’s work has led to the successful development of cross-layered optimization framework that can maximize the network capacity through a variety of methods. These methods are designed to be jamming-resilient by utilizing multiple antennas, which confounds a potential hackers ability to successfully corrupt the system.

He hopes that their work is part of the continued evolution of the network system, that it can continue to build towards innovative system. He explains, “our group is actively engaged in the development and standardizations in the wireless industry. We hope our research results will not only be archived in journal papers, but also be incorporated into industry standards, which can benefit people’s daily life immediately.”