UD researcher wins DARPA funding for radio research

System can help military defend against electronic warfare jamming

A University of Dayton researcher helping the military develop communication technology that adapts to an increasingly crowded electromagnetic environment has won new funding.

A project spearheaded by UD professor Guru Subramanyam has earned Phase II funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), UD said Monday.

Subramanyam’s group has received $780,000 so far for the project and could receive another $320,000 if it advances to the third and final phase, UD said.

As the radio frequency spectrum expands, radio receivers are exposed to more signals simultaneously. The DARPA Wideband Adaptive RF Protection program seeks to protect wideband receivers against external and self-interference.

“Eleven teams, which include some of the nation’s leading defense companies, participated in Phase I, and just a few advanced to Phase II,” Subramanyam, a professor in electrical and computer engineering, said in a statement from the university.

The research project includes Lockheed Martin, Indiana Microelectronics, 3D Glass Solutions and Tyndall Institute, UD said.

The technology Subramanyam’s group is looking to perfect is a variable capacitor (called a “varactor”) made of a thin, ceramic film that is less expensive, uses less power and has better tuning than most semiconductor-based devices, according to UD.

Originally developed to cut the number of filters used to sort frequencies in cell phones, TVs and satellite communication systems, the varactors have evolved to support rapid reconfiguration of radio frequency and microwave sensors conducting simultaneous operations, UD said.

About the Author