PicoScenes: Wi-Fi Sensing Research, Supercharged!

PicoScenes is an advanced multi-functional Wi-Fi sensing platform software. It helps researchers surmount two key barriers of the current Wi-Fi sensing research: the inadequate sensing hardware and incompetent measurement software.

For hardware: PicoScenes supports the multi-NIC concurrent operation (including the packet injection, packet reception and CSI measurement) of the Qualcomm Atheros AR9300 (QCA9300), Intel Wireless Link 5300 (IWL5300), USRP-based software-defined radio (SDR) and even the Virtual SDR devices.

For QCA9300 NIC, PicoScenes unlocks the arbitrary tuning for both the carrier frequency (a total of 2.4 GHz wide spectrum in 2.4 and 5 GHz bands) and baseband sampling rate (from 2.5 to 80 MHz), enables QCA9300->IWL5300 CSI measurement, support Tx/Rx antenna specification and also supports the transmission of the extra spatial sounding LTF (HT-ELTF).

For SDR, PicoScenes embeds a general-purpose high-performance software baseband implementation for 802.11a/g/n/ac/ax protocols. It covers almost all the technical features, including the LDPC and BCC encoding/decoding, MCS 0~11 modulation, 20 to 160 MHz channel bandwidth (CBW) formats, up to 4x4 MIMO and even the 802.11ac/ax multi-user (MU) mode. PicoScenes sets a series of performance records in our benchmark, such as >1 kHz CSI measurement at a 20 MHz bandwidth, >4 kHz and even >40 kHz insanely fast packet injection rates in real-time and signal-replay modes, respectively, and >100 Hz CSI measurement at a maximally 200 MHz bandwidth.

The Virtual SDR interface provides users a convenient way to generate, manipulate and test decoding the Wi-Fi baseband signals without the cumbersome of connecting to real SDR devices. With the virtual SDR devices, users may assess the impact of various PHY-layer parameters, such as carrier frequency offset (CFO), sampling frequency offset (SFO), symbol timing offset (STO), I/Q mismatching , and many other OFDM decoding settings.

For software: PicoScenes goes far beyond a simple CSI data logger! It is architecturally versatile and flexible. It adopts the “Driver + Platform + Plugins” architecture. The Driver layer exposes the basic controls and the unlocked hardware features. The Platform, like a Wi-Fi sensing middleware, encapsulate all the low-level features into a set of unified and hardware-independent APIs and exposes them to the upper-level plugin layer. Plugin layer, agile and lightweight, realizes the measurement-specific missions, and users can quickly prototype their own measurement plugins. We demonstrate this platform flexibility through EchoProbe, a PicoScenes plugin, which features ms-grade round-trip CSI measurement and the spectrum scanning CSI measurement capability.

You may refer to Why Should Use PicoScenes to learn more about PicoScenes. We hope you enjoy the next ride of Wi-Fi sensing research, supercharged by PicoScenes!


This document is continuously being updated and expanded. If you have any suggestions, or do not find what you are looking for, then please find Technical support via PicoScenes Issue Tracker.

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