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This paper describes a senior-level ECE capstone project in which students design, implement, and debug a wireless network using FPGAs with a small amount of attached circuitry. The project requires students to design the physical and media access control layers of a protocol based on IEEE 802.11, but simplified to make it feasible in a semester-long course. Specifically, the physical layer uses a VHF link with Bipolar Phase Shift Keying that can be implemented using the FPGA and a small analog front end. The protocol implements the basic Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance mechanism of IEEE 802.11 while leaving out more advanced features.
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