Presence of SDR (Software Defined Radio) or RF frontend hardware is essential for providing a complete processing chain within our 5G Experimental Toolset. It brings reals radio signals into experimental simulation environment and thus allows verifying own ideas and solutions in real radio environment where things like noise or channel fading are unpredictable and thus are the best test scenarios.
Because SDR can work as RF frontend and do also some other tasks, we will further refer to any radio hardware used within 5G Toolset as to SDR. SDR hardware works with both software components of 5G Toolset, namely simulators (LTE PHY Lab / LTE MAC Lab) and aLTErnative. By connecting with LTE PHY Lab we can realize hardware-in-the-loop scenario and transmit and receive real radio signals. In aLTErnative SDR hardware is a key component to generate or process (transmit or receive) real-time radio signals; SDR hardware works here as RF frontend for UE or eNB. In all cases Software Defined Radio brings new attractive level of research, development and testing own ideas for wireless communication, as shown in Figure 1.
Using supported SDR in 5G Toolset is as easy as connecting it to computer. All required drivers are either already implemented in tools or can be easily installed using provided scripts.
Figure 1: Various levels of experimenting – from basic (simulation) to advanced (SDR based live demo)
- Full support for USRP B2x0 (Rx/Tx) in all 5G tools
- Direct implementation of UHD driver in MATLAB – no additional toolboxes required
- Full support for ThinkRF WSA5000 (Rx) in MATLAB based 5G tools
- Streaming and processing in real time
- Possibility to add support for own SDRs