1. Why Use PicoScenes¶

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1.1. The first public-available 802.11ax-format CSI measurement platform¶

To the best of our knowledge, PicoScenes is currently (Sep. 2021) the only Wi-Fi sensing platform software that supports the 802.11ax-format CSI measurement. Based on the Intel Wireless-AX200 Wi-Fi NIC, PicoScenes can measurement CSI for all Wi-Fi traffics with any formats (802.11a/g/n/ac/ax), any bandwidths (20/40/80/160 MHz) and even any target destinations (all overheard frames in monitor mode).

1.2. Concurrent CSI measurement from multiple Wi-Fi NICs or SDR devices¶

To the best of our knowledge, PicoScenes is currently (Sep. 2021) the only Wi-Fi sensing platform software that supports concurrent CSI measurement from multiple Wi-Fi NICs by one single computer.

This feature significantly reduces the complexity of setting up and managing a multi-NIC CSI measurement. Taking our dual-NIC ThinkPad X201 as an example, researchers can perform the round-trip or concurrent CSI measurement by just one laptop. We have even set up a 27-NIC array which is just impossible with the previous one-PC per NIC architecture.

To achieve this goal, we rewrote the CSI extraction logic of the AX200, QCA9300 and IWL5300 kernel drivers. Moreover, multi-threading is one of the the fundamental designs of the PicoScenes platform. In fact, PicoScenes platform assign at least five threads for each frontend (Wi-Fi COTS NICs or SDR) and its plugins.

1.3. Support the most models of CSI-extractable hardware¶

PicoScenes provide the broadest hardware platform for the researchers to explore CSI. It currently supports three commercial CSI-extractable Wi-Fi NICs, AX200, QCA9300 and IWL5300, and is the only platform that supports CSI extraction from the USRP-based SDR devices.

1.4. Super easy installation with auto-update support¶

Compared to the existing CSI tools, PicoScenes platform has an unprecedentedly simplified installation process. Once you have installed the latest Ubuntu 20.04LTS (or its variant), all that need to be done is just three-steps:, downloading a KB-size .deb file, double-clock installing it, and at last installing PicoScenes via the popular apt install approach. View PicoScenes Installation for more details.

We use the Continuous Integration (CI) to boost the development-release cycle of PicoScenes. Once we push a code update, CI will automatically perform the building, testing, binary packaging and APT repository updating. You will receive the update notification from the built-in update manager within an hour.