Dr. Lim profiled in Ascension Magazine

SUNGKYUN LIM: Exploring Cutting-Edge Research of Antennas and Wireless Propagation

Electrical Engineering Professor Sungkyun Lim, Ph.D., and his team of graduate and undergraduate students in Georgia Southern University’s Antennas and Wireless Propagation laboratory share a common goal of turning the lab into a nationally recognized research facility in the analysis and design of antennas for wireless propagations.

Lim said the new paradigm in network-centric wireless communication and sensing is creating new demands on next-generation radio frequency (RF) systems in terms of a more compact size, lower power consumption, radiation beam control and longer propagation ranges.

“This research is a cutting-edge field of study in that it provides a pathway into the future in the effort to send power wirelessly,” said Lim who earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Over the past hundred years, wireless communication developed with drastic speed and the revolutionary advancements in semiconductor technology have made our lives easier.” However, Dr. Lim explains, “Antennas, essential components in RF systems, remain one of the most difficult components to miniaturize without sacrificing performance. They have become the critical bottleneck in the miniaturization process,” he said. “For example, antennas for internode communication must meet stringent size limitations to match the other small sensor components in order to fit within the restricted package volume.”

Lim added that antenna design is a unique science, and described it as art based on science. “Antenna characteristics change because of the geometry, hence creative design based on physics is needed to make the antenna perform well, and creative antenna design is what makes my research so exciting,” he said.

Recent research has focused on electrically small antennas for networked wireless communications and sensing applications, including environmental monitoring, intelligent transport systems, and aircraft and satellite systems. Dr. Lim has developed novel design methodologies for electrically small antennas and tested them with digital radios and ad hoc networks in real-world communication environments. He has designed supergain arrays with close spacing between the elements and with electrically small antenna elements. As one of the applications of this work, Lim was awarded a Georgia Research for Academic Partnership in Engineering (GRAPE) grant from Georgia Power/Southern Company for research on “Wireless energy harvest for self-powered wireless sensors using dissipated electromagnetic fields.” Lim and his research team are studying how wireless sensors can automatically be charged wirelessly using electromagnetic fields and using electrically small supergain arrays.

He was awarded a second GRAPE grant for the project “Realization of cyber-security/intrusion risk free zone for IEEE 802.15-based wireless sensor technologies by controlling the propagation of RF signals.” The goal of this second GRAPE project is to achieve physical cyber security for wireless sensors in power plants/buildings by controlling radio frequency (RF) signals using directive antennas instead of omnidirectional antennas.

In another industry grant for a project called “The GNSS competitive assessment,” Lim and his research team are investigating satellite wireless communication systems for better performance in tractor and combines.

Lim said he involves students in his work because it allows them to build their professional careers by presenting at conferences and writing their thesis or journal papers in the field of antennas and wireless propagation.

Posted in 2014 News, News Archives

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