20 maggio 2008

Nel tempio degli hacker europei si parla di SDR

Chi riesce a capire il tedesco parlato (io faccio molta fatica), apprezzerà sicuramente questa chicca descritta da Harald Welte, famoso hacker tedesco (uno dei suoi progetti OpenMoko, puntava a realizzare uno smartphone free software). Harald è stato intervistato sul tema della SDR e della piattaforma GnuRadio USRP per i podcast realizzati dal mitico Chaos Computer Club, uno dei gruppi di attivisti del software più accreditati in Europa e nel mondo. Sono due ore di conversazione che potete trovare sul sito di ChaosRadio. La presentazione che segue è quella scritta di pugno da Welte sul suo blog.

Chaosradio on Software Defined Radio

I've had the pleasure of being invited to Chaosradio Express maker Tim Pritlove to talk about Software Defined Radio in general, and gnuradio plus USRP specifically. You can listen to the resulting 2+ hours of podcast (in German).
It's been a great experience, and I have a good feeling that it was possible for us to explain this fairly detailed subject to our already at least moderately technical audience.
SDR is really hard since it combines aspects of traditional radio, i.e. physics of electric waves, electrical engineering both analog and digital, digital signal processing and software. The biggest part is really advanced mathematics, and at least from all the subjects that I've seen, it's probably the most direct and close-to-theory incarnation of applied math.
Luckily, a fairly high-level understanding of the algorithms and principles involved are already sufficient to do a lot, since most of the deep-down mathematical details of many algorithms have already been implemented as building blocks for gnuradio. Still, I assume the number of developers who are actually able to use gnuradio is far too low. If you're looking for an interesting field of software right now, I suggest going for digital signal processing. It's in every area of communications, ranging from analog modems over ISDN, DSL, WiFi, USB2, Bluetooth, GSM, UMTS, DECT, ZigBee, Ethernet, VoIP and probably any other communication technology that we use today.

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