Irida Research Lab focus on key aspects and challenges of wireless communication theory and its applications. It is equipped with hardware and software that can be used for modelling, simulation and emulation of optical/telecommunication networks utilized to evaluate technologies, architectures, protocols, and algorithms in these networks. It is currently equipped with state-of-the-art computing hardware and software facilities, both commercial and custom-made simulation software, and substantial computing capabilities.

Equipment available:

  • Spectrum Analyzer
  • USRPs (USRP Software Defined Radio Devices)

Spectrum Analyzer

Spectrum Master™ MS2720T

The Spectrum Master MS2720T features over 30 analyzers in one to meet virtually every measurement need. It provides powerful data analysis tools for spectrum clearing and interference monitoring.

Weighing about 8 pounds fully loaded, including a Li-Ion battery, the fully functional Spectrum Master MS2720T family of handheld spectrum analyzers are light enough to take anywhere, including up a tower.

Continuous frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 43 GHz for spectrum monitoring, hidden signal detection, RF and microwave signal measurements, microwave backhaul testing, or cellular signal measurements.

  • Broadband preamplifiers over the whole frequency range for increased sensitivity approximately 17 dB
  • Three Sweep Modes: improved sweep speed, up to 100 times faster
  • Resolution and Video Bandwidths from 1 Hz to 10 MHz
  • New triggering choices, including hysteresis, hold-off, and delay
  • More zero-span capabilities including 10 MHz RBW & VBW
  • Enhanced Spectrum Analyzer Touch Screen GUI, including large marker display choice
  • Choice of display options for readability: normal, black on white, night vision, color on white, or high contrast
  • On-screen Interference Mapping as part of the Interference Analysis option
  • LTE Measurements up to 20 MHz, plus support for Carrier Aggregation
  • 30 MHz wide Zero-Span IF Output at 140 MHz center frequency for external demodulation of virtually any wideband signal
  • Burst detect captures 200 μs bursts the first time, every time
  • PIM Hunting for finding external IM products

USRP Software Defined Radio Devices

LIME SDR mini 


The LimeSDR Mini board is a highly cost-optimised hardware platform for high-performance digital and RF designs

  • 169-pin FBGA package
  • 16 K Les
  • 549 KB M9K memory
  • 2,368 KB user flash memory
  • 4 x fractional phase locked loops (PLLs)
  • 45 x 18×18-bit multipliers
  • 130 x general purpose input/output (GPIO)
  • Single supply voltage
  • Flash feature
  • FPGA configuration via JTAG

EEPROM memory: 2 x 128 KB for RF transciever MCU firmware and data

Flash memory: 1 x 4 MB flash memory for data

General user inputs/outputs:

  • 2 x dual color (red + green) LED
  • 8 x FPGA GPIO pinheader (3.3 V)


  • USB 3.0 Type-A (FTDI FT601 controller)
  • 2 x coaxial RF (SMA) connectors (each can be switched between high and low frequency bands)
  • U.FL connector for external clock source
  • FPGA GPIO headers
  • FPGA JTAG connector

Clock system:

  • 30.72 MHz onboard VCTCXO
  • Possibility to tune VCTCXO with onboard DAC
  • External clock input via U.FL connector

Board dimensions: 69 mm x 31.4 mm

Board weight: 20 grams


BladeRF 2.0 micro


The bladeRF 2.0 micro is 47MHz to 6GHz frequency range, off-the-shelf USB 3.0 Software Defined Radio (SDR).

Support is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. The bladeRF libraries, utilities, firmware, and platform HDL are released under open source licenses, and schematics are available online. The FPGA and USB 3.0 peripheral controller are programmable using vendor-supplied tools and SDKs that are available online, free of charge.

  • 47 MHz to 6 GHz frequency range
  • 2×2 MIMO, 61.44 MHz sampling rate
  • 56 MHz filtered bandwidth (IBW)
  • Automatic gain control (AGC)
  • Automatic IQ and DC offset correction
  • 200 MHz ARM926EJ-S processor
  • Fully bus-powered over USB 3.0
  • External power 5V DC barrel with automatic switchover
  • 49 kLE and 301 kLE variants available for custom signal processing and hardware accelerators
  • Taming supported via 12-bit DAC or ADF4002 PLL
  • Factory calibration of 38.4 MHz clock


10 MHz to 6 GHz, GPS-Disciplined OCXO, USRP Software Defined Radio Reconfigurable Device
—The USRP-2954 provides an integrated hardware and software solution for rapidly prototyping high-performance wireless communication systems. Built on the LabVIEW reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture, USRP RIO delivers an integrated hardware and software solution. It can prototype a range of advanced research applications that include multiple input, multiple output (MIMO); synchronization of heterogeneous networks; LTE relaying; RF compressive sampling; spectrum sensing; cognitive radio; beamforming; and direction finding. The USRP-2954 is equipped with a GPS-disciplined 10 MHz oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) reference clock. The GPS disciplining delivers improved frequency accuracy and synchronization capabilities.

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USRP E312 (Battery Operated, 2X2 ΜΙΜΟ, 70MHZ – 6GHZ)


The battery operated USRP E312 offers a portable stand-alone software defined radio platform designed for field deployment. The flexible 2×2 MIMO AD9361 transceiver from Analog Devices provides up to 56 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth and spans frequencies from 70 MHz – 6 GHz to cover multiple bands of interest. RF filter banks in both the transmitter and receiver front-end enhances selectivity.

The baseband processor uses the Xilinx Zynq 7020 SoC to deliver FPGA accelerated computations combined with stand-alone operation enabled by a dual-core ARM CPU. The USRP E312 includes a rich set of peripherals such as an integrated GPS receiver for position awareness and time synchronization, as well as two host USB ports for extending storage, I/O, and communication options with off-the-shelf devices. Users can rapidly prototype and deploy designs for mobile and embedded applications with tight size, weight, and power requirements.

The USRP Embedded Series platform uses the OpenEmbedded framework to create custom Linux distributions tailored to application specific needs. The default operating system is pre-installed with the UHD software API and a variety of third party development tools such as GNU Radio. Support for the RFNoC FPGA development framework enables deterministic computations for real-time and wideband signal processing.

Operating System OpenEmbedded Linux (Pre-Imaged)
Development Frameworks UHD (Pre-Installed)

GNU Radio (Pre-Installed)

Xilinx Vivado 2015.2 Design Suite

Table 1: Operating system and development frameworks

Filter Banks

The USRP E312 contains both RX and TX filter banks. Filters are dynamically chosen based on user frequency selection. The RX filters reduce interference from out-of-band signals, while the TX filters suppress harmonics.

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Nl USRP-2901


70 MHz to 6 GHz, 2-Channel USRP Software Defined Radio Device—The USRP‑2901 is a tunable RF transceiver with full-duplex, MIMO operation. It offers bus-powered connectivity with USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. You can also use the NI USRP‑2901 for the following communications applications: white space; broadcast FM; public safety; land-mobile, low-power unlicensed device (ISM) bands; sensor networks; amateur radio; or GPS.

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The USRP™ B205mini-i delivers a 1×1 SDR/cognitive radio in the size of a business card. With a wide frequency range from 70 MHz to 6 GHz and a user-programmable, industrial-grade Xilinx Spartan-6 XC6SLX150 FPGA, this flexible and compact platform is ideal for OEM applications. The RF front end uses the Analog Devices AD9364 RFIC transceiver with 56 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. The board is bus-powered by a high-speed USB 3.0 connection for streaming data to the host computer. The USRP B205mini-i also includes connectors for GPIO, JTAG, and synchronization with a 10 MHz clock reference or PPS time reference input signal. The USRP Hardware Driver™ (UHD) software API supports all USRP products and enables users to efficiently develop applications then seamlessly transition designs between platforms as requirements expand.

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20 MHz Bandwidth, 50 MHz to 2.2 GHz USRP Software Defined Radio Device
—The USRP‑2920 is a tunable RF transceiver with a high-speed analog‑to‑digital converter and digital‑to‑analog converter for streaming baseband I and Q signals to a host PC over 1 Gigabit Ethernet.

Applications: white space; broadcast FM; public safety; land-mobile, low-power unlicensed devices on industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands; sensor networks; cell phone; amateur radio; or GPS.

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Implementation: DELIVERABLE D15

Ni-5791 (RF Adapter Module for FlexRIO)


100 MHz Bandwidth, 200 MHz to 4.4 GHz, RF Adapter Module for FlexRIO —The NI‑5791 provides continuous frequency coverage from 200 MHz to 4.4 GHz. It features a single-stage, direct conversion architecture that provides high bandwidth in the small form factor of a FlexRIO adapter module. The onboard synthesizer, which is the local oscillator (LO), sets the center frequency for acquisition and generation, and you can export it to other modules for multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) synchronization. You can also import the LO from an external connector, enabling synchronization of up to eight NI‑5791 modules. For higher frequencies or a greater number of devices, you can use an external LO distribution amplifier.

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PXIe-8840 (PXI Controller)

PXIe, 2.7 GHz Dual-Core or 2.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor PXI Controller
—The PXIe‑8840 is an embedded controller for PXI systems. You use it for processor-intensive, modular instrumentation, and data acquisition applications. The PXIe‑8840 includes two 10/100/1000BASE‑TX (Gigabit) Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, as well as an integrated hard drive, serial port, and other peripheral I/O.

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PXIe-1071(PXI Chassis)


PXIe, 4-Slot (3 Hybrid Slots), Up to 3 GB/s PXI Chassis—The PXIe‑1071 is designed for a wide range of test and measurement applications and provides a high-bandwidth backplane. Its compact and lightweight form factor is ideal for minimizing the footprint of your installation, making it ideal for desktop or portable use cases. The PXIe‑1071 accepts PXI Express modules or standard PXI hybrid-compatible modules in every peripheral slot.

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FPGA Module, FlexRIO, PXIe-7972

EquipmentProvides large Xilinx FPGAs that can be combined with FlexRIO adapter modules for applications requiring custom, inline signal processing.

PXI FPGA Modules for FlexRIO offer up to 132 single‐ended I/O lines configurable as 66 differential pairs as well as large onboard FPGAs for signal processing. You can pair the module with FlexRIO adapter modules that offer high‐performance analog and digital I/O. Together, the two modules create a reconfigurable instrument.