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.
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Mohammad Ahad, Dr. Rocio Alba-Flores, Dr. Rami Haddad, Dr. Sungkyun Lim and Dr. Danda Rawat. Each won a CEIT Faculty Research SEED Grant for the year 2014.
“Localized impedance technique to monitor the progression/relapse of brain injury”, Dr. Ahad, PI
“Human-Robot Interface Based on Electromyogram Signals”, Dr. Alba-Flores, PI, Dr. Ahad, Co-PI
“Ultra-Fast, Autonomous, Reconfigurable Disaster Communication System”, Dr. Haddad, PI, Dr. Fernando Rios-Gutierrez, Co-PI
“Design of Electrically Small, Supergain Array Antennas for Self-Charging Sensors using HF/VHF Wireless Power Transfer”, Dr. Lim, PI
“Robust Connectivity and Security for Spectrum-agile Vehicular Ad hoc Networking”, Dr. Rawat, PI
IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of IEEE student members, supported by an IEEE Student Branch, advised and proctored by an IEEE member, compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems. This year the worldwide IEEEXtreme competition was held on the weekend of October 25-26. A team of three GSU Electrical Engineering Students: Matthew Cowart (left), Josh Blasius (center) and Stephen Hickman (right), competed in this prestigious event against teams of students from all over the world. In the last ranking, before the end of the competition, our team was situated among the best 100 in the US and the best 1000 in the world.
Georgia Southern University has embarked on a bold journey where no Eagle has ever gone before. GUS, the University’s mascot, has landed safely after being launched into the stratosphere on a mission to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning.
To gain a bird’s-eye view of earth, GUS was attached to a weather balloon and a rig with multiple high definition video cameras and tracking equipment for lift-off at Paulson Stadium. GUS reached an altitude of 102,000 feet before the weather balloon burst and a parachute returned the Eagle mascot to Earth. He traveled more than 70 miles and touched down in some woods outside Mount Vernon, Ga.
“GUS in Space wasn’t just a gimmick because there was a lot of technology behind it,” said University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D. “This was a great experiment for our University to blend the wow factor with real science, technology, engineering and math and give our students an opportunity to put textbook material into a real-life situation for a great learning experience.”
The GUS in Space project included the Center for Academic Technology Support, faculty, staff and two students, Cameron Cato and Jeremy Goodman who were responsible for designing the telemetry system to track GUS. “It was quite impressive that what we made could go up more than one hundred thousand feet and survive the extreme cold of 95 degrees below zero,” explained Cato. “All the electronics came through in great shape and were working fine when we recovered GUS.” Goodman took pride in his role in sending GUS into the stratosphere. “The cameras captured some amazing video which shows the curvature of the Earth and should help promote STEM education,” said Goodman. “This is an exciting experience. How many people can say they put something into near space?”
The goal of GUS in Space was to showcase the University’s efforts in STEM education which include practical, hands-on use of technology in the telemetry, satellite and antenna labs. “It’s not difficult to launch something into space with a weather balloon, but to track its every move from launch to landing was really something special for our students,” said Vice President for Research and Economic Development Charles Patterson, Ph.D. “By being able to show the science behind such a fun and entertaining project, we hope to get more children interested in STEM careers.”
Associate Dean of Faculty and Research Programs Karin Scarpinato, Ph.D., said this experiment demonstrated that science does not have to be boring or intimidating and that GUS in Space brought people together who typically don’t work with each other. “This definitely shows how important it is to be interdisciplinary in STEM education, but also shows that what you learn in the classroom can be applied in real life whether it’s doing something fun like putting GUS in space or in a career choice where you will need the same skills,” said Scarpinato.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education.
Electrical Engineering faculty and students participated in the I2 Explore -STEM Festival activities that offered K-12 students, teachers and families a free event to explore experiments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
K-12 students were guided by EE faculty and students to do experiments with solar cells, robotics, antennas, buoyancy and structures that are related to engineering principles and applications.
The main purpose of the event was to motivate K-12 students towards the STEM area and to increase their interest in the engineering field at an early stage.