The cognitive radio network (CORNET) testbed developed from a collection of USRPs that were set up in the Wireless @ Virginia Tech research labs in 2008 using open-source software (GNU Radio). Dr. Tim Newman (University of Maryland) and Daniel Depoy (PhD candidate, Hume Center, Virginia Tech) who were supervised by Dr. Tamal Bose (now ECE department head at the University of Arizona) and by Dr. Jeff Reed, had the vision of building a large-scale university testbed to leverage research and education in SDR, cognitive radio, and dynamic spectrum access.
The original funding for CORNET came from internal funding from the ICTAS Center and provided for equipment and manpower. Three separate Department of Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) research programs of $350k, $300k, and $260 to help supplement the ICTAS seed funding and supplement the 48-node indoor testbed with outdoor nodes. A fourth DURIP award of $250k has been awarded in 2014 to add 3GPP-compliant LTE capabilities to the testbed. Many research projects from a variety of sources have assisted with the development of associated software, applications, and educational tools, including NSF Partnership for Innovation (PFI), NSF Wireless Internet Center for Advanced Technology (WICAT), NSF Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS), NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI), and some private funds from WICAT affiliate companies.