UC Santa Barbara PhD student Esther Showalter measures TV white space channel availability for her dissertation research.
by Ellen Zegura (Georgia Tech) and Elizabeth Belding (UC Santa Barbara)
If you want to communicate without wires, you need to use a specific frequency. A frequency is like a note on a piano – I can play a high note, and you can play a low note, and both can be heard at the same time. But if I play a high note, and you also play the same high note, our notes interfere and blend together. In wireless communication, the sender and the receiver agree on the frequency to use, and provided no one else is using that frequency nearby, communication can take place. We all use wireless communication every day, in our cell phones, our laptops, our remote controls, our wireless headphones, our gaming platforms.
In the United States, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) manages the assignment of frequencies so that different uses and users don’t collide with e…