Colosseum – DARPA’s not Rome’s

Colosseum – DARPA’s not Rome’s

Colosseum is DARPA’s very powerful emulator of wireless systems; it is named after the grand Roman amphitheatre. It resides in a 30-foot by 20-foot server room in the applied physics lab at the Johns Hopkins University and is to be moved to the innovation campus at Northeastern University in November. There it will join the US Ignite and Northeastern University co-led Platform for Advanced Wireless Research Program. This program is supported by the National Science Foundation and also facilitates researches in evaluating the wireless networked system in real-life scenarios for testing.


SC2 program manager, Paul Tilghman said that Colosseum will provide the wireless research environment that will catalyse intelligent, autonomous, and collaborative radio technology. This will be very important as the population of wireless devices and wireless devices that also connect to the internet of things keeps on increasing exponentially.

“With Colosseum, you can see how 250 intelligent radios interact with one another across a square kilometre,” says Tommaso Melodia, the William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University. “You can very simply emulate all of these very complex scenarios. This will help us design and build the wireless systems of tomorrow.”

DARPA’s Colosseum can emulate more than ten thousand interactions among hundreds of wireless communication devices like mobile phones, military radios, thermostats, refrigerators, Internet-of-Things devices, etc. that are simultaneously operating in a square-kilometre expanse. “Bringing Colosseum to Northeastern is a testament to the university’s leadership in radio frequency research,” says David Luzzi, who is the senior vice provost for research and vice president of Northeastern University’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts. “This unique-in-the-world combination of facilities will be an asset for radiofrequency research by Northeastern, its research and development partners, and users from around the nation. We expect major advances that originate from the work done with these facilities to advance U.S. leadership in radio frequency telecommunications.”


Mayuri Talgaonkar

mayuri talgaonkar

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