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OneRadio signal display
OneRadio’s screen display shows the “fingerprints” of radio signals across a wide swath of bandwidth. (OneRadio Image)

OneRadio Corp. has been working on its dragnet for radio transmissions for two years in stealth mode, but the spinout from the University of Washington’s CoMotion innovation program is finally ready to go public.

The startup plans to demonstrate its wideband radio receiver platform next week at the 2017 IEEE Radar Conference in Seattle.

“This is a great coming-out party for us,” OneRadio CEO Mohan Vaghul told GeekWire.

A new breed of radio receivers may not be as sexy as, say, a new breed of iPhone, but receivers serve essential functions in fields ranging from aerospace and defense to wireless telecommunications.

The OneRadio platform takes advantage of a patent-pending, digitally based method to pick up signals across a wide stretch of frequencies and a wide range of signal strength.

“We have the capability of seeing extremely weak signals in the presence of strong signals,” Vaghul said.

Vaghul said some high-end wideband receivers may offer similar capabilities, but OneRadio is designed to do it across wider bandwidth, at around a tenth of the price.

For aerospace and defense, that means one receiver could do the job of several narrower-band receivers. The OneRadio system could also be used in telecom and security applications to sniff out signal spoofers, “monitoring the entire spectrum for malicious activities,” Vaghul said.

“The long-term potential is pretty phenomenal,” he said.

Vaghul recounted one experiment that used RF fingerprinting to detect and identify TV broadcast signals – specifically, KONG TV’s digital signal. At first, the pattern that OneRadio’s engineers were seeing didn’t match up with what they expected, but then they realized there was a complicating factor.

“The cranes in Seattle actually caused a small variability in the reflected path,” Vaghul said.

Mohan Vaghul
OneRadio CEO Mohan Vaghul (Via LinkedIn)

During next week’s conference, OneRadio will be conducting live demonstrations of wideband RF operations. In geekspeak, the receiver will provide a live display of zero to 2 GHz of the radio frequency spectrum, in the presence of a 3 dBm signal into the receiver with a noise floor of -195 dBW/Hz.

The first-generation platform, spanning 2.5 GHz of bandwidth, is due to hit the market by the end of the year, Vaghul said. The company is already working on next-generation platform that would widen the bandwidth to 7 GHz.

Vaghul said the outlook for the technology is bright, particularly as the Internet of Things hits its stride.

He declined to provide details about OneRadio’s funding, other than to say that the venture has received UW innovation funding.

Vikhram Jandhyala, executive director of CoMotion and UW’s vice president for innovation strategy, noted that OneRadio is the result of years of research at UW’s Department of Engineering.

“CoMotion is pleased to have worked with this team over the past two years to help commercialize this complex technology by working with them on licensing, patent filings, marketing and business development,” Jandhyala said today in a news release.

Vaghul expects the venture’s financial outlook to brighten along with the technology.

“We’re looking to raise some money,” he said.

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