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Donald G. Fink Prize Winners Announced

Andreas F. Molisch, Larry J. Greenstein and Mansoor Shafi, authors of a paper explaining wireless propagation issues that are important to the successful development of cognitive radio for more efficient use of communications frequencies, are being honored by the IEEE with the 2011 IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award.

The award, sponsored by the IEEE Life Members Committee and given to an outstanding survey, review or tutorial paper appearing in any of the IEEE Transactions, Proceedings of the IEEE, journals or magazines, recognizes Molisch, Greenstein and Shafi for their paper Propagation Issues for Cognitive Radio, which appeared in the May 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE.

The paper summarizes the work done to quantify the impact of propagation on transmitted signals, primarily in the UHF band. The main topics treated are path loss, which gives a broad measure of signal attenuation on a given path and conveys how far a transmitted signal (cognitive radio or primary) can travel, and the path impulse response, which describes the signal fading and distortion caused by the multiple echoes (multipath) in radio environments.

IEEE 802.3™ Ethernet Group Launched

IEEE reports the formation of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc group. This new IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Industry Connections program is designed to assess the future bandwidth needs of Ethernet wireline applications across multiple industries, which will assist future development activities of Ethernet standards.

The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc invites contributions from individuals across all industries as it gathers information and with the IEEE 802.3 group’s approval produces an assessment of its findings that will be referencable for future standards-development efforts. The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc seeks any data related to Ethernet bandwidth trends of past, present or future to help ensure that the future needs for Ethernet wireline speeds are understood.

Miniature Filters for Radio, Radar, and Wireless

Active Spectrum Inc. of San Carlos, California, demonstrated the latest tunable filter technology for co-site interference mitigation in next generation cellular radio, wireless communication and radar systems at the 2011 International Microwave Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland. Next generation radar and wireless communication systems have stringent requirements for transmit and receive isolation, and future Software Defined Radio (SDR) systems will operate simultaneously on many frequency bands. Interference between high power transmit radio and radar signals and low-level radio receive signals is a persistent problem in radio and cellular networks. Active Spectrum’s miniature filters show unprecedented capability for isolating radio transmit and receive signals, including low insertion loss (under 1.0dB), high RF power handling capability (50W), and very wide tuning in the VHF radio (30MHz to 300MHz), UHF radio (300MHz to 3GHz), cellular, and microwave frequency (2GHz to 18GHz) bands.

Active Spectrum provides miniature filters to increase communications quality and reduce radio interference.

Panashield Appoints New Director of Operations



Pam Girard has been appointed as Panashield ‘s new director of operations. She reports to her sister, Peggy Girard, Panashield’s president, in overseeing and managing the day-to-day activities of the organization, with a focus on the systems and procedures required to accomplish the company’s mission and goals.

Panashield has built its reputation of quality and commitment to EMC clients based on the premise that project management and service is second to none.

Pam’s phone number is 203-866-5888 ext. 112, and her email is

IEEE Mourns 2001 IEEE President Joel Snyder



Joel Snyder, 2001 IEEE president and long-time volunteer, died June 4 at the age of 75 after an illness.

In addition to serving as 2001 IEEE president, Snyder also held the following IEEE leadership positions: board of directors, 1992-93, 1995-96, 2000; and Region 1 director, 1992-93. In 1995-1996, Snyder held the positions of vice president, IEEE Professional Activities, and Chair, IEEE United States Activities Board. During this time, a reorganization took place and IEEE-USA was formed.

Snyder received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, N.Y. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers; an honorary member of the Popov Society for Radio Engineering, Electronics and Communications; and an academician in the International Telecommunications Academy.

Recommendations on Cell Phones and Cancer



The evidence is limited when it comes to risk, but specialists say common-sense measures can come into play until the science catches up with technology.

Cell phones and cancer are back in the news after the World Health Organization’s recent announcement that cell phone use should be considered “possibly carcinogenic.” There are an estimated 5 billion mobile phones in use around the world.

The working group from the organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer was careful not to make any firm conclusions.

"The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification,” reports Working Group Chair Jonathan Samet, MD, from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. This category is used for agents when there is limited evidence.

Others have suggested a cancer risk before, but the organization’s consortium is the most significant to classify the radiation emitted by cell phones in this way.

RFMD® Exceeds Two Million Units In Shipments



RF Micro Devices, Inc. of Greensboro, North Carolina, a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency components and compound semiconductor technologies, has surpassed two million units in cumulative shipments of its Multi-Chip Modules (MCMs) supporting 3G base station transceiver (BST) applications for the wireless market.

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD’s multi-market products group (MPG) said, “The shipment of over two million MCMs in such a short period of time highlights RFMD’s sharp focus on product and technology leadership and the continued expansion of our product portfolio supporting the wireless infrastructure end market.”

RFMD’s MCM products reduce overall current consumption by using power down and other DC power control functions. The associated reduction in component operating temperatures improves component reliability, which is of critical importance in small remote radio heads located in difficult to access locations.

Morehead State Opens EM Anechoic Chamber


Morehead State University’s Space Science Center in Kentucky has opened a new EM anechoic chamber. The anechoic chamber is an experimental laboratory that simulates the electromagnetic environment of space to allow testing and measurement of satellite systems, antennas and antenna components.

The new chamber is essentially an experimental room lined with RF absorbent material and which contains an antenna positioner and controller that allows for a variety of empirical measurements of antenna performance. The chamber facilitates the Space Science Center’s spacecraft verification program, allowing staff and students to characterize the RF performance of space-based and ground-based antenna systems. The anechoic chamber facilitates empirical measurements of antenna parameters so that measurements of critical characteristics of communications systems can be made.

The EM Anechoic Chamber from Lockheed is valued at more than $1 million. It was a gift from the Lockheed Martin Aerospace Co.

Frost & Sullivan Awards EMCSCAN Products


Receiving Frost & Sullivan’s RF & EMC Measurement Market Award is Erkan T. Ickam, director of marketing for EMSCAN.

Based on its recent analysis of the RF and EMC measurement technologies market, Frost & Sullivan recognized Calgary, Canada-based EMSCAN with the 2010 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement.

EMSCAN’s EM measurement technologies offer faster alternatives to existing solutions for pre-compliance antenna measurement and EM testing, more specifically for small size antennas that operate in the 300MHz to 6GHz frequency range and printed circuit boards that radiate in the 50kHz to 4GHz range. Both its products, the EMxpert and the RFxpert, use high-speed automatically switched high-density planar antenna array patented by EMSCAN.

While the EMxpert, which is focused on EMC issues at the PCB level, enables PCB engineers to have controls at their desktop to see what is wrong with their board, the RFxpert helps antenna designers and wireless product developers optimize their wireless performance and antenna performance. The RFxpert is ideal for mobile phones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RFID applications.

EMGS Wins Petronas 2011 HSE Award


Receiving the 2011 HSE Award from Petronas Carigali’s CEO are Charles Dandridge (left) and Thomas Sjøberg (center).

Presenting the 2011 Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Award from Petronas Carigali’s CEO, Effendy Cheng Abdullah, the Norway-based company recognized that EMGS worked for the Malaysian national oil company for over 200,000 man-hours without an HSE incident.

Effendy Cheng Abdullah, Petronas Cargiali’s CEO, presented the award to Thomas Sjøberg, EMGS president Asia Pacific, and Charles Dandridge, EMGS VP HSE, accepted the award.

Dandridge said, Providing a safe working environment for all our employees, contractors and customers is fundamentally important for us, and this award is a credit to everyone who has worked for Petronas in its Malaysian and international blocks.

EMGS acquires and processes high-quality marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data to help customers increase their exploration success through modeling, integrating and interpreting the data.

Agilent Acknowledged for Leadership in Wireless


Agilent received this year's Frost and Sullivan Award for marketshare leadership in global wireless test equipment.

Agilent Technologies Inc. of Santa Clara, California, has received this year’s Frost & Sullivan award for market-share leadership in global wireless test equipment.

“Agilent’s huge success can be attributed to its broad product line, which caters to a major part of the wireless communications market,” said Olga Yashkova, program manager at Frost & Sullivan.

Agilent offers an extensive range of test equipment for base station and mobile device testing for both design and manufacturing test. Design test solutions include SystemVue Electronic System-Level design software, which offers a complete electronic design automation environment to create next-generation wireless communications systems. Component testing tools include Signal Studio software used to configure test signals for use on Agilent vector signal generators, such as the MXG, and 89600B VSA (vector signal analysis) software, a tool for finding and fixing signal problems during R&D.

Man-Made Material Could Facilitate Wireless Power



Electrical engineers at Duke University have determined that unique man-made materials should theoretically make it possible to improve wireless power transfers to small devices, such as laptops, or ultimately to larger ones, such as cars or elevators.

This advance is made possible by the recent ability to fabricate exotic composite metamaterials that can be engineered to exhibit properties not readily found in nature.

Theoretically, this metamaterial can improve the efficiency of recharging devices without wires. As power passes from the transmitting device to the receiving device, most if not all of it scatters and dissipates unless the two devices are extremely close together. However, the metamaterial postulated by the Duke researchers, which would be situated between the energy source and the recipient device, focuses the energy transmitted and permits the energy to traverse the space between with minimal loss.

We currently have the ability to transmit small amounts of power over short distances, such as in radio frequency identification (RFID) devices,” said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “However, larger amounts of energy, such as that seen in lasers or microwaves, would burn up anything in its path.”

“Based on our calculations, it should be possible to use these novel metamaterials to increase the amount of power transmitted without the negative effects,” Urzhumov said.

LightSquared Shown to Slam GPS Receivers


Three towers were set up in Las Vegas and one in Boulder City, Nevada to broadcast a signal strength equal to that of actual deployment of the LightSquared terrestrial transmitter. Many GPS engineers from various manufacturers have been trying to determine what kind of effect the LS transmitters would have on their receivers.

LS broadcasts its signals at two center frequencies: 5L/10L are centered around ~1528MHz and 5H/10H are centered around ~1552MHz. 10L/10H were not broadcast in Boulder City because there’s a contingent that thinks 5L/5H are the worst-case scenario,.

The data showed that wide-bandwidth, high-precision GPS receivers started feeling the effects of the LightSquared transmission about 1,800 meters from the tower. Medium-bandwidth high-precision GPS receivers started feeling the effects of the LightSquared transmission at about 1,200 meters from the tower. In each case, there was about a 200 meter buffer from when the GPS receivers started to feel the effects of the LightSquared transmission to the GPS receiver being jammed, at 1,600 meters and 1,000 meters respectively.

Utah Researchers Experiment with Electric Roads


A technical breakthrough at Utah State University could make highways themselves a source of energy.

“If we have an infrastructure on the roads to power electric vehicles, then we don’t have to carry that power in the vehicle itself,” says Paul Israelsen, deputy director at Energy Dynamics Laboratory.

The principle has been in use for decades, but Utah State researchers claim the highest efficiency rate yet. “To also achieve an air gap of up to 10 inches that is quite remarkable,” says Hunter Wu.