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ECE Professors Receive Award From DARPA MTO

November 9, 2016

ECE Assistant Professor Matteo Rinaldi (with Co-PI Professor Nicol McGruer) has received a $2,682,990 award from DARPA MTO to develop a magnetic-free “Microelectromechanical Resonant Circulator (MIRC) orders of magnitude smaller than any existing implementation of circulators available to date, fully compatible with lithographic fabrication processes used to manufacture Radio Frequency (RF) integrated circuits. The proposed MIRC is capable of achieving the linearity, bandwidth, insertion loss, isolation and power consumption levels required for many civilian and military applications at a chip-scale size, enabling RF systems to simultaneously transmit and receive at the same frequency (STAR), doubling spectrum efficiency. Which is one of the key enabling features for the development of the Internet of People in which billions of virtual and physical objects are wirelessly connected together to create large networks of empowered people interacting securely with adaptive and resilient environments.

This project is part of the DARPA Signal Processing at RF (SPAR) program which seeks to design, build and demonstrate RF signal processing components that can remove in-band interferers from the desired receive signal prior to the receiver electronics. The components developed under the SPAR program will not only achieve the desired levels of signal isolation, but will also have the low noise and high linearity required of components operating directly at the RF front-end. SPAR will significantly improve interferer resistance while augmenting spectrum efficiency, which will allow radio and radar operation in increasingly congested and contested RF environments. Furthermore, SPAR will enable RF systems to simultaneously transmit and receive at the same frequency (STAR), doubling spectrum efficiency.

In this collaborative project, led by Prof. Rinaldi, the Northeastern university team will work with a team from the University of Texas at Austin (sub-contractor) led by Prof. Andrea Alu’.