“The goal of this project is to create a private secure portable cell network utilizing basic technologies for mobile phones that can be easily deployable in any situation. In the event of an emergency, commodity cell networks can easily become severely congested and overwhelmed. Having the ability to set up secure and reliable communications for civilians or law enforcement can save lives, facilitate responses, and provide confidence in decision making.
The radio system that we are using for the cell phones to communicate with is the GSM protocol (Global System for Mobiles) more commonly used by cellular provider such as AT&T and T-Mobile. To broadcast the radio system, we are going to be using a Software Defined Radio (SDR) device called the BladeRF (external). This hardware is controlled by the Raspberry PI (small single-board computer) (external) using YateBTS (external) which is software that implements functions and protocols of both the radio access network and the core GSM network to allow cell phones to communicate using voice, text, and data. The Raspberry PI is instrumental to reach our goals of portability due to its size, low power usability, and cost over alternatives.”