A new project at The University of New Mexico funded by the National Science Foundation will strive to create new solutions for 6G-enabled networks aimed at improving public safety.

Eirini Eleni Tsiropoulou, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is collaborating with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the Office of Emergency Management in the City of Albuquerque on the project to design a 3D network architecture that maximizes the advances in the field of next-generation wireless networks to provide a prototype solution, which could lead to an integrated communications system for disaster relief operations.

Another part of the project will involve an innovative, massive, multiple-access mechanism and a dynamic spectrum-sharing model to increase the public safety system’s capacity and improve the spectrum utilization, respectively, during relief operations. And a new positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solution will be proposed to support scenarios of Global Positioning System (GPS) denial by utilizing the next-generation network technology of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces.

“The outcomes will have long-lasting benefits for the communications, and in turn, the well-being of the victims and first responders during disaster relief operations,” said Tsiropoulou, who also directs the Performance and Resource Optimization in Networks Lab at UNM.

She will also work with graduate and undergraduate students, providing them with a unique opportunity to be part of a project that she describes as being “at the crossroads of reinforcement learning and next-generation networking technologies.”

Graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in working on this project as part of their master’s thesis or senior design project in the field of reinforcement learning in communications and networking are invited to contact Tsiropoulou at eirini@unm.edu.

The project, which began in October, will continue through Sept. 30, 2024. It is funded by NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Minority-Serving Institutions Research Expansion Program (CISE-MSI) program and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).