Microsoft Research WhiteFiService
A research platform to plan your white space network!

With excellent propagation characteristics and additional available spectrum, the TV white spaces promise to be the panacea for our wireless problems. However, a number of challenges need to solved before we can start using this spectrum for wireless communication. In particular, two communicating devices might not have the same TV channels available (spatial variation) and even a commonly available channel might become unavailable if a wireless microphone appears near a device (temporal variation). At the heart of these challenges is the need for devices to determine the usable channels at a given location.

The Microsoft Research WhiteFiService provides web APIs that can be used by devices to learn about the available white spaces at a given location. The API takes as input the location of interest, and uses sophisticated modeling to return the white spaces, i.e. empty TV channels. It reads the TV tower data, such as tower location, TV channel, antenna height, transmit power, etc. from the FCC CDBS, and the terrain data sources from NASA. It then computes the signal attenuation from the TV tower to the location of interest using various models. Through this design, the WhiteFiService has the following features:

WhiteSpaceFinder As an example of the type of applications that can be developed on these APIs, we have developed WhiteSpaceFinder -- a web-based front end to the APIs. You can enter your address and click "Find Address" followed by "Show nearby incumbents" to see the TV towers around that location, and the signal strength from all the towers whose signal strength is above the specified threshold. You can also see a simple analysis of white space availability at that location on the right hand side. The boxes on the left correspond to TV channels. A "yellow" box implies that the TV channel is available, and a "red" box denotes that it is not available. Clicking on a box gives more information about that channel. The corresponding TV towers appear on the map, and the information about those TV towers are highlighted in the region below the map.  WhiteSpaceFinder exposes the configurability of the APIs through the webpage. A user can specify the propagation model to use, the detection threshold, and the terrain source. To visit the website please click the image on the right.

Learn more about WhiteFiService by clicking on the following links:

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