A Campus-wide Internet-of-Things Testbed

A versatile testbed for experimental research


The state-of-the-art IoT testbed currently under construction at USC consists of a wide array of sensors, actuators, and wireless radios to support experimental research on sensing, processing, algorithms, and software for the Internet-of-Things.

Compute and Sensing Platforms
The testbed supports a wide range of hardware platforms including edge computing using low power embedded and mobile processors, embedded GPU’s and connectivity to cloud computing. It also supports dozens of different sensor types for air quality monitoring, micro-climate, radio spectrum as well as for detecting traffic.
Communication Technologies

The testbed integrates a heterogeneous set of state-of-the-art communication technologies ranging from BLE, ZigBee, LoRa to WiFI. It also incorporates software-defined radio technologies to allow researchers to tinker with innovative communication modalities that do not yet exist in standards.

Data Analytics and Machine Learning
The large volume of streaming IoT data from CCI testbed and the available compute support will allow researchers to extract patterns, trends, and actionable insights with diverse algorithms and architectures for data analysis and cleaning, deep learning and reinforcement learning including hybrid edge-cloud configurations.

Deployment Overview

The map shows the overview of our deployment at USC campus. We plan to cover the entire USC campus. Circles marked in Red indicate active deployments whereas the blue circles denote the locations of future deployments.

IoT Gateway Specification

Compute Platform – Raspberry Pi Version 3 Model B

Processor RAM Flash (SD Card) Radios
1.2 GHZ quad-core ARM Cortex A53 1 GB 32 GB BCM43438


Sensor Link to Specifications
Temperature and Humidity Specification
Light Specification
Air Quality (H2, LPG, CH4) Specification
Air Quality (Alcohol, Benzine) Specification
Air Quality (CO, CH4, Alcohol) Specification
Air Quality (LPG, CO, CH4) Specification
Sound Sensor Specification
Vibration Sensor Specification

Architecture Overview

The Raspberry Pi gateway devices connect to a WiFi access point to forward the sensor data and to receive configuration updates from the testbed server. The users of the testbed interact with the testbed device through the testbed server.

LoRaWAN Gateway

CCI has deployed the first public LoRaWAN gateway in Los Angeles. LoRa is a low-power and long-range wireless technology for the IoT. Low power IoT devices follow the LoRaWAN standard to build LoRa-based IoT applications.

A solar-powered gateway is currently deployed on the rooftop of the Seeley G. Mudd Building. The gateway covers the entire UPC campus, including USC village and other neighborhoods within a one-mile radius.