Foothill Section at CLASTECH 2012
|October 15, 2012||Posted by COMauthor under COMSOC, MTT/APS||
Review of IEEE Foothill Section attendance at CLASTECH 2012, which included at least four IEEE student members.
A sizeable contingent of IEEE Foothill Section members went to the CLASTECH 2012 meeting in the LAX area on Friday October 12, 2012. Fortunately, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was starting it short 12 mile final journey from a hanger at LAX to the downtown LA Science Museum in an area north of LAX; our meeting was south of LAX. At least we were spared that traffic jam.
A full day of technical talks on microwaves and antennas had been prepared by the hosts, the LA IEEE Coastal LA Section. Over 125 IEEE members, plus a large number of technical equipment and instrumentation exhibitors were present to answer our questions.
Some highlights from the technical talks:
Ingmar Kallfuss from the Karlsruher Institute of Technology, Germany , discussed his work on Terahertz circuits. His team has developed a MMIC system at 220 THZ, with a base bandwidth of 40 GHz in order to make it comparable with optical fibre systems. He has also developed an on-chip antenna, using a GaAs monopole with a Si lens. Some outstanding problems he is addressing include beam steering at 220 THZ, as well as coherent receivers.
Professor Gabriel Rebeiz from UC San Diego presented the results from his university lab in making compact Si RFID devices for all RF beamforming architectures.
For a class of US Navy special circuits, as a typical example, by converting designs from GaAs to SiGe and Si CMOS, he has brought the price per unit down from $250.00 to $25.00. His lab, and his many graduate students, have built an 8 channel phased array (11 to 15 GHZ; small size 2.4 by 3 mm squared; low power consumption 3.5 v at 520 ma, and low crosstalk between channels -30 to -40 dB).
William Milroy of ThinKom Solutions, Inc presented his low profile planar leaky waveguide antennas. These were designed starting with the basic analysis done by N Marcuitz in the MIT Rad Lab era. This is the parallel plate mode analysis, with metallic reactive stubs. Later HFSS software was used to refine the design. Two orthogonal feeds were used for the E-and H-plane excitations. Radiation patterns for a W band 94 GHZ antenna were shown, as well as an actual antenna with microstrip patches on the radiating face.
Dave Thompsom of Ansys described his company’s new software (HFSS v 14) for tackling large electromagnetic scattering problems. The key is in enhancements in “Finite Array Domain Decompositions”. Ansys uses the Finite Element Method (FEM) together with Physical Optics solutions (via HFSS) to obtain solutions to electromagnetic scattering problems. As an example, calculated scattering plots (RCS) for an F-16 aircraft (15.15 meters in length, 910 wavelengths object size at 18 GHZ radiating source, using 5 to 15 Million FEM meshes) were displayed. Needless to say, many GBites of RAM are needed to do this calculation in a reasonable time.
This gives a short description of just some of the technical talks presented. All were excellent. In addition, we met with Maury Microwave (Ontario, CA) exhibitors. They are actively organizing a microwave measurement meeting (80th ARFTG Microwave Measurement Symposium) in San Diego on November 27-29, 2012. Among the workshops to be held there will be one on design for wireless communications, and another on measurements for RF nano-electronics.
Let me mention one last note that came to mind on the long Friday afternoon rush hour drive back to the Foothill area. The last long 12 mile march of the orbital vehicle Endeavour was actually a slow funeral procession to a new mausoleum at the Exhibition Park. Endeavour made 25 space launches, and traveled 122 million miles in orbit, collecting useful scientific and engineering data every mile on the way.
Today, we listened to a very energetic Professor Gabriel Rebeiz from UC San Diego. He allows, and encourages, his graduate students to hang their national flag on the walls of his lab. Today there are seven flags, one each for Turkey, Taiwan (ROC), Korea, Singapore, Iran, China (PROC), and the USA.
So, USA technology transfer is alive and well.
And, yes, we must continue towards our IEEE Foothill Section GOAL: Advance the professional knowledge and skill-set of our native Foothill area IEEE students.