The National Spectrum Centre
The National Spectrum Centre (NSC) is being developed by Aberystwyth University and a range of partners to help address the rapidly growing demand for new applications and technologies which use radio spectrum, including areas such as intelligent farming; the Internet of Things; autonomous land, sea and air vehicles; remote health monitoring and beyond 5G.
The NSC will make use of varied coastal, upland and rural environments in Ceredigion and Powys, with a central observatory in the Lord Milford building on the University’s Gogerddan campus.
The project is being developed within the Mid Wales Growth Deal and is based on active engagement with a range of industry and government departments.
The Mid Wales Growth Deal, set within the broader Vision for Growing Mid Wales, is a long-term investment providing capital funding to support regionally significant economic infrastructure that drives private sector investment and stimulates growth.
Training and Knowledge Exchange
Masters students, professionals and user groups in the subject of radio spectrum engineering
Wireless technologies and their applications
New concepts in commercial development and improvements to existing capabilities or services.
A managed regulatory environment
Using academic knowledge, sectoral insight and collaborative investigation.
Bring together industry innovators, equipment capabilities and talent that drive spectrum-dependent industries.
The NSC’s activity is currently structured under three pillars and we will work with key delivery partners for each pillar as well as a range of other industry partners.
- Defence and Security
- Transport and Communication
Other sectors, such as health, may become more prominent during the development stage.
The NSC will be based on a hub-and spokes model, with a central observatory on the University’s Gogerddan campus near Aberystwyth as well as a variety of outdoor radio range environments for testing and experimentation.
The University already has a range of outdoor environments, including rural, coastal and upland, which are suitable for these purposes.
Other facilities will be developed for use by agreement in both Ceredigion and Powys so that the following locations are available to a UK-wide network of radio spectrum users:
- Indoor lab environment
- Outdoor lab environment
- Conference facilities
- Drone testing facility
- Radar testing facility
- High speed/rural connectivity
- Sensor equipment
- Road testing facility
- Rail testing facility
- Large public area
By creating a physical space, industry network and trainers to work with and develop skills in a variety of spectrum technologies.
The project comes from close collaboration and engagement with industry partners, responding to identified needs. We have testing equipment and expertise to help develop and validate innovations in spectrum technologies on a national, regional and sectoral level.
The project aligns with regional, Welsh and UK government priorities in terms of harnessing innovation to drive economic growth.
We facilitate funding paths for government and private entities to invest in long term industry-led collaborations focusing on solving problems and improving the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of industries reliant on spectrum technologies.
We work with other education and research partners to promote and increase research and development in small to medium enterprises, and facilitate knowledge exchange between industry and universities.
This will be the first National Spectrum Centre in the UK. Its range of locations and access to varied terrain and remote locations, coupled with low interference airspace, offer an ideal setting for spectrum technology experimentation and proof of concept activity.
The centre’s key delivery partners link members across regions and sectors with global reach. Purpose-built collaboration space and expertise at Aberystwyth University facilitate access to equipment, talent, industry developments and users of new spectrum technologies.
“Aberystwyth University is committed to working with industry to harness its applied research and expertise, and help generate positive social and economic benefits at a local, national and global level. The development of a National Spectrum Centre (NSC) is one example of how we are responding to and driving forward technological innovation according to the needs of an ever-changing world. We do not do so alone but in active collaboration with business, industry and policymakers as well as academic partners. This approach has already led to the successful establishment on our Gogerddan campus of AberInnovation, which offers world-leading facilities and expertise in the biotechnology, agri-tech, and food and drink sectors. Through the Mid Wales Growth Deal and the support of other investors, our aim now is to make the NSC a beacon of excellence in the field of wireless technologies – leading to the creation of high-quality jobs and helping to address the rapidly growing demand for new applications which use radio spectrum.”
Professor Colin McInnes
Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation
Aberystwyth University offers an MSc in Radio Spectrum Engineering and is also developing training opportunities for local industry and businesses looking to upskill staff in these increasingly important areas.