The AERPAW Experiment Workflow - Considerations for Designing Usage Models for a Computing-supported Physical Research Platform
IEEE INFOCOM 2022 - IEEE CONFERENCE ON COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOPS (INFOCOM WKSHPS).
The AERPAW project is an ambitious project, funded by the PAWR program of the US NSF, to create a remote accessible research platform for a research facility with some distinct features that makes its usage model unique, and non-obvious to many researchers desirous of making use of this platform. AERPAW is primarily a physical resource (not a computing or cyber-resource) - the RF enviroment, and the airspace. Experimenters can explore them through radio transceivers and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, both under the Experimenter’s programmatic control. Since the entire workflow of the user is through the mediation of virtual computing environments, users often tend to think of AERPAW as a computing resource, and find some of the experiment workflow counter-intuitive. In this paper, we articulate the challenges and considerations of designing an experiment workflow that balances the need for guaranteeing safe testbed operation, and providing flexible programmatic access to this unique resource.