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Electromagnetics, Microwave & Antenna (EMMA) Lab

Jayanti Venkataraman
Professor, Graduate Director

Electromagnetics Microwave and Antenna Laboratory supports undergraduate and graduate education and research in microwave circuits and antennas. The EM educational program is comprehensive with an undergraduate course in transmission lines and wave theory, followed by graduate courses in microwave engineering and antennas. It builds analytical skills, teaches state-of-art design procedures and measurement techniques through student projects. Research activities include theoretical modeling and measurement of microstrip antennas and integrated microwave circuits, composite right/left handed metamaterials and applications, numerical optimization techniques, and bio electromagnetics.

The Electromagnetics, Microwave and Antenna Laboratory, which occupies 1000 square feet of space in the Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering Department, was established in 1989 by Dr. Jayanti Venkataraman, Professor, and Director of EMMA Lab. The primary funding was from an NSF-ILI Instrumentation grant, a Hewlett Packard University grant awarded to her and some corporate donations. Further significant enhancement of the lab was done with an NSF-MRI (Major Research Instrumentation) grant awarded to her in 2002. In addition the lab has strong collaborations with corporate partners. 

Measurement capabilities include reflection and transmission characteristics, radiation measurements and package/chip   characterization. It has state-of-art equipment ranging from 30 kHz to50GHz that include network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, Cascade Probe Station for wafer level measurements, signal generators, power meters, SWR meters and an assortment of waveguide and co-axial line components. In addition, there are state-of-art software tools that include ANSYS HFSS and Designer, CST, SONNET and GNEC. There are two anechoic chambers for radiation measurements one in X-band (8GHz -12GHz) and another in the S-band (2GHz- 4GHz).

Dr. Venkataraman has established a lab and project based instruction in both the undergraduate and graduate EM courses. She has incorporated a flipped classroom approach together with traditional teaching by creating video modules for each experiment that includes a detailed instruction of relevant theory, the measurement procedure, and an analysis of the measured data. The Junior level Transmission lines Course EE474, is accompanied by a lab that is designed to help the student understand difficult wave theory concepts. It also provides the student a great opportunity to work with a vector network analyzer which is the ultimate test equipment for RF and microwave circuits. Various types of calibration procedures are investigated for measurements in the time and frequency domains. The   experiments complement the theoretical discussion in the lecture portion of the course such as step excitation of coaxial lines, standing wave patterns and impedance matching.

At the graduate level, the coursework in advanced EM theory, microwave circuits and antennas culminates in a project based course where a complete design process is followed that includes the development of analytical models in addition to the use of software modeling tools, construction and validation by measurements.

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