Hey, that title's not annoying at all, is it? This post discusses our forum on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Software Defined Radio (SDR) at the Wireless@VT (Virginia Tech) Symposium a couple of weeks ago.

We brought together five speakers from different areas to talk about how FOSS works in their world of radio and SDR. I talked about the GNU Radio project, Philip Balister spoke on OpenEmbedded and how we use it for SDR development on embedded systems, Tim O'Shea from the Hume Center of Virginia Tech talked on their use of FOSS in research in both wireless and machine learning, Rick Mellendick from Signals Defense spoke about how FOSS has enabled work in wireless security and penetration testing, and Ben Hilburn from Ettus Research was there to speak about his perspectives on FOSS from an industry point of view.

The main intent behind this tutorial was to expose the audience to a lot of projects and tools as well as ideas that the FOSS world can offer. The various perspectives on this were to showcase how wide-reaching FOSS is in technology, business, concepts, and intent. Essentially, we wanted to help add to the discussion about how the tools and technology can impact work in various fields.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about FOSS in our world. In the world generally, sure, but I am specifically talking about wireless and signal processing where we are not brought up on open source. We see the misunderstanding as well as mistrust of it from traditional engineers and engineering. It is often seen as something that's fun as a toy or hobby, but not for real work. Plus the big question of monetization. In the five talks in the panel, I think we exposed a lot of powerful FOSS technology and projects as well as explained some of the behavior and philosophy of FOSS. You can download the presentations in the list of talks below.

I also really want to apologize publicly again to Ben Hilburn for running out of time. I completely misjudged how much time we had available, but he's been gracious enough to provide his slides here.