Michigan State University engineering students sounded the channel and won the “foxhunt” at the 2018 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium Student Design Competition at 2018 AP-S.
Undergraduates Anton Schlegel and Justin Opperman and graduate students Pratik Chatterjee and Billy Stevers designed and built a radio system that located a 5 GHz radio transmitter and sounded a radio channel in real time to win the international contest.
Jeffrey Nanzer, team adviser and the Dennis P. Nyquist Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said six finalist teams were selected from around the world.
“The team put together an outstanding design, which included a software-defined radio as a primary component,” Nanzer said. “SDRs are going to play a huge role in future wireless systems. This competition gave our students critical experience which will help them in their research and future careers.”
Nanzer noted that the MSU team’s system is based on the theory of an additive interferometer and has a custom interferometric antenna configuration with a single low-cost SDR serving as the receiver.
By using a standard omnidirectional antenna and the narrow baseline, the team could sound the channel and get close to the transmitter by monitoring the power density spectrum using a real-time waterfall plot, Nanzer said. The system can also be used to detect any multipathing from the transmitter by generating a delay spread profile of the transmitted bit sequence.
See the MSU FoxFinder design in this video.
The team’s design and results will be published in a future edition of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine.