December 2, 2016
Dr. Charles Baylis (left)
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Robert J. Marks II (right)
Distinguished Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Back when radio and TV stations were just about the only civilian technologies using the radio frequency — or "RF" — portion of the spectrum, there was more bandwidth available than anyone knew how to use. Part of the spectrum was set aside for the United States military to use for radar. But with the explosive proliferation of wireless devices, frequency bands formerly assigned to the U.S. military have recently been reassigned to civilian cell phone use.
Today, some military systems that are crucial to national security often must compete with popular consumer products for precious space on the spectrum. Scientists and engineers find themselves evermore challenged to make the most of what little bandwidth remains.
That's where Drs. Charles Baylis and Robert Marks come in. In 2013, the two Baylor researchers were awarded a four-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to do just that. Along with colleagues in the Wireless and Microwave Circuits and Systems labs in the BRIC, the two worked to develop algorithms for advanced radar systems
Now word comes that their work is already paying off, as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently entered into an $850,000 Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Baylor to expand their work on advanced radar systems.
"Our work focused on building the next-generation radar that uses allocated spectrum in the most efficient and flexible manner possible," Baylis said. "Unlike conventional radar, next-generation radar transmitters coexist with wireless communication devices using the same airwaves and can adjust themselves on the fly and allow for adaptation to battlefield conditions."
Marks added, "Currently, important broadcast bands are both contested and congested. Next-generation radar will come from a much smaller, more flexible device that is able to run operational rings around today's radar and will help make cellular devices and radar ‘best friends forever.'"
Under terms of the agreement, Marks and Baylis will work with Purdue researchers, Dr. Dimitrios Peroulis, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dr. Abbas Semnani, senior research scientist in Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Baylis is excited about the new collaboration.
"Drs. Peroulis and Semanani are truly some of the top experts in the micro-electrical/mechanical systems field, and we are privileged to be able to work with them," Baylis said. The devices designed by Peroulis and Semnani will allow circuitry to change frequencies more quickly using algorithms developed by Baylis and Marks.
"The partnership between Baylor and the ARL, in conjunction with faculty from Purdue University, is a great combination of talents and resources that will allow for greater innovation and discovery," Baylis said.
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