STTR Phase I: Reconfigurable Over-the-air Chamber for Wireless Device Testing

Period of Performance: 01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016

$212K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Wavetronix LLC
78 E 1700 S Bldg B
Provo, UT 84606
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Brigham Young University
A-285 ASB
Provo, UT 84602
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project has several facets. From the standpoint of scientific understanding, using a reverberation chamber with time-varying and non-homogeneous reflection from the walls is a new concept, and successful understanding of this technology may impact a variety of applications. More specifically for wireless device testing, the fact that the most accurate traditional testing methods for wireless device performance are costly, they are unavailable to all but the largest companies or research organizations. The development of an accurate, low-cost, and rapid testing capability levels the playing field among wireless device development organizations and introduces consumer-benefitting competition into the market. Furthermore, the low cost fosters the development of emerging technologies that may offer low initial revenue but provide high social value. Finally, because the low-cost and accurate testing capability will enable wireless device designers to improve performance and offer increased spectral efficiency, it will foster increased access to the limited radio spectrum, enabling more people to have the access to information that they need for personal and economic development. This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project is motivated by the observation that emerging wireless devices must offer increased levels of sophistication in order to keep pace with the growing demand for data throughput. Achieving this objective requires development of new testing methods that can rapidly and accurately assess the effectiveness of emerging devices at a low-cost. The innovative reconfigurable over-the-air chamber (ROTAC) proposed in this work promises dramatic improvement in wireless device testing. The proposed activities focus on three key technical challenges: 1) generation of a detailed simulation model that allows detailed understanding of the behavior of a ROTAC for wireless device testing; 2) exploration of optimization algorithms that can quickly determine the reconfigurable parameters that achieve the desired channel characteristics; and 3) implementation of algorithms on an experimental ROTAC prototype. Successful completion of these activities will demonstrate the feasibility of the technology as a commercial product and enable observation of the technology limitations and strengths.