WNCG Spins Out Wireless Startup

Monday, July 02, 2012

In December 2009, WNCG Director Professor Robert W. Heath, Jr. and two of his students, Steven Peters and Robert Daniels, co-founded Kuma Signals, LLC with the vision of transitioning the state-of-the-art in wireless communications research into viable commercial products. Professor Heath is Chief Innovation Officer, while Daniels is Executive VP of Engineering and Peters is CEO. As graduate students in the WNCG, Daniels was the physical layer architect for Hydra, the open source MIMO-OFDM test-bed, and Peters worked on projects focused on relaying and interference sponsored by Huawei, DARPA, and Texas Instruments.During their time in the WNCG, the former students and their advisor developed and nurtured the ability to both understand the latest wireless research and be able to make it a practical reality. This ability has been noticed by the U.S. Navy, which has awarded Kuma a $750,000 contract to improve the performance of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveform in extremely harsh propagation conditions. The contract is a Phase II extension of a Phase I contract where the feasibility of Kumas solution to the problem was proven. In Phase II, Kuma is partnering with Rockwell Collins, Inc. to build a prototype on military-grade software defined radios, called the Ground Mobile Radio. In December 2009, WNCG Director Professor Robert W. Heath, Jr. and two of his students, Steven Peters and Robert Daniels, co-founded Kuma Signals, LLC with the vision of transitioning the state-of-the-art in wireless communications research into viable commercial products. Professor Heath is Chief Innovation Officer, while Daniels is Executive VP of Engineering and Peters is CEO. As graduate students in the WNCG, Daniels was the physical layer architect for Hydra, the open source MIMO-OFDM test-bed, and Peters worked on projects focused on relaying and interference sponsored by Huawei, DARPA, and Texas Instruments.During their time in the WNCG, the former students and their advisor developed and nurtured the ability to both understand the latest wireless research and be able to make it a practical reality. This ability has been noticed by the U.S. Navy, which has awarded Kuma a $750,000 contract to improve the performance of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveform in extremely harsh propagation conditions. The contract is a Phase II extension of a Phase I contract where the feasibility of Kumas solution to the problem was proven. In Phase II, Kuma is partnering with Rockwell Collins, Inc. to build a prototype on military-grade software defined radios, called the Ground Mobile Radio. In less than 2 years of operation, Kuma has also worked with other Department of Defense agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations on work totaling over $1.3 million. WNCG alum Jonathan Starr has recently joined Kuma and the company plans to enter the wireless prototyping market with its first products later this year.