U.S. Representative Lamar Smith announced early this year he had obtained a $1.2 million appropriation for ECE researchers to create advanced wireless communications devised for military use. The research will be a collaborative effort by Computer Engineering Research Center (CERC) professors Jacob Abraham and Ranjit Gharpurey and Wirelss Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) professors Ted Rappaport and Sriram Vishwanath.
This grant will encourage novel interdisciplinary research said Dr. Jeff Andrews, WNCG Director, and help the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department be at the forefront of developing integrated circuits capable of a 10-fold higher data rate than the best current circuits.
In addition to being useful for military communications, these circuits could lead to new commercial chips that impact cell phones and other current devices, and foster new products that include wireless video/TV screens, and high-definition video systems for homes.
The $1.2 million grant will fund the first year of what might become a three-year project supported by federal and private sources. Initial funds will primarily cover salaries for faculty and 15 students to streamline a prototyped Ultra Wide Band wireless device.
Companies with an interest in broadband wireless will provide student educational opportunities and other support for the wirless research. Support has also come from the Army Research Laboratories in Bethesda, Md., which provided $919,000 in 2005 for equipment that will benefit the project.