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College of Engineering faculty member awarded $1.14 million research grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jul 22, 2011

Professor Yun [on right] and HCAC faculty and students in the indoor antenna anechoic chamber
Professor Yun [on right] and HCAC faculty and students in the indoor antenna anechoic chamber
The College of Engineering’s Hawai‘i Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC) at UH Mānoa has received a $1.14 million research grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to improve reliability of military radar and wireless communications in diverse and challenging environments.  
The project is a collaborative effort with the SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Pacific in San Diego, California.
Wireless communications are dependent on radio waves to carry messages.  In a built-up urban area, buildings and vehicles cause scattering that interferes with the transmission and receipt of messages, and creates areas that lack connection (cold spots).
Understanding this complicated wave propagation procedure is a key step in designing reliable wireless communications systems.  The challenge in predicting wave propagation is significant, because it requires developing advanced computer software and carrying out extensive experiments in labs and fields.
The challenge is even more daunting for military applications, as wireless systems need to be established quickly and in all kinds of areas such as mountains, sea-land transitions and built-up urban regions.
Outcome from the project will help the military rapidly establish reliable wireless communication networks in urban and other complex propagation environments.  The project will be beneficial to all Department of Defense military services by providing a unified application software package that performs equally well in diverse scenarios.
Industries will also benefit from this research by using developed software tools in establishing better wireless systems.
Principal investigator is UH Mānoa Engineering Professor Zhengqing Yun. He and colleagues from HCAC will work with experts at SSC Pacific to investigate radio wave characteristics in complex, hostile and dynamic environments, such as heavily built urban areas, rugged mountain regions, sea-land transitions and over-the-horizon scenarios.  
HCAC has been developing expertise in radio propagation modeling and prediction for several years and is a leader in creating new methods and exploiting resources in the Internet for improving modeling capabilities.  Ongoing research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, as well as by several corporate sponsors including BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and OpCoast.
“The collaborative environment at HCAC and availability of state-of-the-art research facilities provide significant opportunities for attracting federal funding and industry sponsorship,” said Yun.
Established in 2000, HCAC is an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering. Its joint research and educational activities promote national and international cooperation and partnership with industry in the area of advanced wireless enabled cyber physical systems and radar technologies. 
For more information about HCAC, please go to