IEEE Santa Clara Valley APS Chapter


    Welcome to the SCV-APS web site. Meetings are now being scheduled for the summer and fall. We welcome suggestions for topics and speakers for future meetings.

2015 Activites

The December 8, 2015 was a joint meeting with EMC held at Cetecom, Inc 411 Dixon Landing Rd. Milpitas, CA 95035
The speaker was Thomas Lee of Stanford University presenting a talk on
“Go Big or Go Home: The First Transatlantic Telegraph Cable and the Birth of Electrical Engineering”

Electrical engineers are the children of a failure so traumatic that we don’t even talk about it. American paper magnate Cyrus West Field wanted to span the Atlantic in the 1850s with a telegraph cable; it was the Victorian era’s equivalent of shooting for the moon. Amplifiers would not exist for another half-century, so success would require mastery of a number of complex technical disciplines. Regrettably, the project’s technical head was a medical doctor. A British board of inquiry convened to assess the resulting failures noted that the electrical arts lacked even a basic vocabulary to describe the failure. William Thomson was eventually named the new head of the project, and final success followed in 1866. The volt, ohm and ampere were formally defined shortly thereafter and the profession of electrical engineering was born. Thomson — arguably the first professional electrical engineer — became Lord Kelvin, and EEs have been busy making mischief ever since.

Thomas H. Lee is an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University. In 1994 he founded the Stanford Microwave Integrated Circuits Laboratory. He has written and co-authored several books and papers, and recently concluded a tour of duty as the director of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office.

The September 17, 2015 meeting was held at Electronic Cooling Solutions (ECS), 2915 Copper Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

The speaker was Rob Hill, AntennaMagic presenting a talk on   “Theory of Internal Antennas for Mobile Devices”

Lecture Presentation Charts

This presentation provided a discussion of the design of internal antennas for mobile devices. It began with a discussion of Maxwell’s equations and how they were used to develop the antennas for the iPhones.

Rob is presently the CEO and Founder of AntennaMagic LLC and provides Consulting and Custom Antenna Design Services on demand.

Before AntennaMagic, he spent 8 years at Apple Inc., and was responsible for all technical issues regarding Antenna Design for Apple’s Wireless Products. He is credited with the antenna designs for the first iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4s product line. While at Apple, he held the position of Distinguished Engineer, Scientist and Technologist (DEST).

Prior to working at Apple, Rob was the VP of Engineering and a Technical Fellow at Rangestar Wireless. In the 1980s and 1990s, Rob contributed antenna innovations at leading Silicon Valley companies including L3 Communications, TRW/ESL, Trimble Navigation, and Glenayre. Rob has more than 50 United States Patents granted, 30 International Patents granted, and in 2000, his Low-Profile Omnidirectional Antenna was named Wireless Design & Development Magazine’s Product Of The Year.

The June 25, 2015 meeting was held at Electronic Cooling Solutions (ECS), 2915 Copper Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

The speaker was Edmund Miller, APS Distinguished Lecturer presenting a talk on   “Two Novel Approaches to Antenna Pattern Synthesis”

Lecture Presentation Charts

This presentation provided a discussion of antenna pattern synthesis.

The design of linear arrays that produce a desired radiation pattern, i.e. the pattern-synthesis problem, continues to be of interest as demonstrated by the number of articles that continue to be published on this topic. A wide variety of approaches have been developed to deal with this problem of which two are examined here.

One of them, a matrix-based method, begins with a specified set of element currents for a chosen array geometry. A convenient choice, for example, is for all of the current elements to be of unit amplitude. Given its geometry and currents, an initial radiation pattern for the array can be computed.

The second approach is based on a pole-residue model for an array whose element locations (the poles) and currents (the residues) are developed from samples of the specified pattern. One way of solving for the poles and residues is provided by Prony’s Method, and another is the Matrix-Pencil procedure. However found, the spacing between the array elements derived using such tools can in general be non-uniform, a potential advantage in reducing the problem of grating lobes. There are three parameters that need to be chosen for the pattern sampling: 1) the number of poles in the initial array model, for each of which two pattern samples are required; 2) the spacing of the pattern samples themselves, being required to be in equal steps of , with the observation angle from the array axis; and 3) the total pattern window that is sampled.

Since earning his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Edmund K. Miller has held a variety of government, academic and industrial positions. These include 15 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he spent 7 years as a Division Leader, and 4+ years at Los Alamos National Laboratory from which he retired as a Group Leader in 1993. His academic experience includes holding a position as Regents-Distinguished Professor at Kansas University, Stocker Visiting Professor at Ohio University, Physics Instructor at Michigan Technological University and Research Engineer at the University of Michigan. Industrial positions include serving as a Senior Scientist at MBAssociates in San Ramon, CA, Manager of Electromagnetics at the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, CA, and Director of the Electromagnetics Research Operation of General Research Corporation in Santa Barbara, CA. Dr. Miller has been appointed as an AP Distinguished Lecturer for 2014-2016, and wrote the columns “PCs for AP and Other EM Reflections” from 1984 to 2000 for the Magazine of the Antennas and Propagation Society.

The May 12, 2015 joint meeting with EMC was held at CETECOM Inc. 411 Dixon Landing Rd. Milpitas, CA 95035

The Speaker was Doug Kramer, ETS-Lindgren, presenting a talk on: ” Introduction to Antenna Calibration Methods: An overview of new antenna developments, related standards, calibration and what you need to know for efficient and compliant EMC testing

Lecture Presentation Charts

This presentation provided an overview on antenna calibration, what it means to calibrate an antenna and why you should care. The set of operations for an antenna calibration that establish the relationship between values of quantities indicated by a measuring instrument and a reference standard will be explained. Essential concepts will be reviewed, such as metrology, verification, validation, and accreditation. Case studies will be provided on these concepts to provide practical examples of the concepts as applicable in the real-world. Finally, traceability and measurement uncertainty will be discussed according to standards such as ANSI C63.5, SAE ERP 958, IEEE 291, and CISPR 16-1-6. The presentation will conclude with a review of new antenna developments, including tips on which antenna to use for what measurement application, trade-offs in evaluating different antennas, and the new “balance test” for biconilog antennas.

Doug Kramer is the Manager of the Calibration/EMC/Wireless Labs for ETS-Lindgren in Cedar Park, Texas. He has over 12 years of experience in managing a commercial test laboratory and providing test solutions to a variety of customers. He holds BSEE and MSEE degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is the outgoing Chair of TC1 of the IEEE EMC Society. Doug supports the technical staff at ETS-Lindgren, many of whom are active contributors to the leading wireless industry organizations, including the WiMAX Forum®, CTIA – The Wireless Association®, 3GPP, and the Wi-Fi Alliance®. Prior to joining ETS-Lindgren, Doug was the General Manager for the Nebraska Center for Excellence in Electronics (NCEE), the only full service EMC, environmental and safety product testing facility in Nebraska. He is a contract Senior Assessor to ISO/IEC 17025 and is an iNARTE certified EMC Engineer, a member of the CISPR B working group and Vice Chair of the ANSI C63.5 working group.

The April 23, 2015 meeting was held at Electronic Cooling Solutions (ECS), 2915 Copper Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

The speaker was Dr. Sudhakar Rao, IEEE APS Distinguished Lecturer presenting a talk on “Antenna Systems for 21st Century Satellite Communication Payloads”

Lecture Presentation Charts

The 21st century has so far seen several new satellite services such as local-channel broadcast for direct broadcast satellite service (DBS), high capacity K/Ka-band personal communication satellite (PCS) service, hosted payloads, mobile satellite services using very large deployable reflectors, high power hybrid satellites etc. All these satellite services are driven by the operators need to reduce the cost of satellite and pack more capability into the satellite. Antenna sub-system design, mechanical packaging on the spacecraft, and RF performance become very critical for these satellites. This talk included recent developments in the areas of antenna systems for FSS, BSS, PCS, & MSS satellite communications. System requirements that drive the antenna designs were presented with brief introduction to satellite communications. Typical block-diagrams of the satellite payload including antenna and repeater were presented.

Sudhakar K. Rao received B.Tech degree in electronics & communications from Regional Engineering College, Warangal in 1974, M.Tech in Radar Systems Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1976, and Ph. D in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1980.  He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at University of Trondheim, Norway during 1981-1982 and then as a research associate at University of Manitoba during 1982-1983. He is currently a Technical Fellow at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, CA working on advanced antenna systems for space and aircraft applications.

Dr. Rao developed antenna payloads for more than 65 satellites including first mobile satellite M-Sat and pioneered development of first Direct Broadcast Satellite with local channels (DirecTV-4S). His work on development of radiation templates for complex radiation patterns of satellite antennas for interference analysis was adopted and recommended by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)/CCIR in 1992 as the world-wide standard for satellite manufacturers and operators. He authored over 165 technical papers and has 44 U.S patents. He authored and co-edited three text book volumes on “Handbook of Reflector Antennas and Feed Systems” that are published in June 2013 by the Artech House.