IPFW Receives Wireless Research Funding

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A four-year project by the Wireless Technology Center at IPFW has received more than $375,000 in funding. The money comes from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board and the city of Fort Wayne. The research includes development a prototype microwave power amplifier. October 11, 2012

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Growth of technological innovation has been shown time and again to be a solid foundation for turning economic downturn into economic prosperity. The Wireless Technology Center and the Systems Engineering Center at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) are working together to bring about growth of innovation in a specific area that can translate into a large number of engineering and manufacturing jobs badly needed by the local defense industry.

Recently IPFW received a $276,000 grant from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board demonstrating the important role that the university can play in support of the defense sector of northeast Indiana, by means of its scholarly excellence and state-of-the-art nonlinear measurement and design facility.

The City of Fort Wayne will also contribute an additional $100,000 in funding for the four-year project proposed by the Wireless Technology Center. The project includes developing and testing a prototype of a gallium nitride microwave power amplifier which can have a significant economic impact for the local community.

"Virtually every piece of Commercial Electronic Communication equipment and every piece of Electronic Warfare equipment is necessarily dependent on the quality of its (microwave) power amplifiers, especially their efficiency," said Claude Setzer, associate director of the Wireless Technology Center at IPFW. "Worldwide, these systems use up some $50 billion per year in electricity alone. Much of this power, some 50% or more, could be saved by better design techniques."

IPFW's Nonlinear Measurements Lab is one a small handful of facilities in the world with measurement and design capability that has the potential to substantially change this situation, by helping to develop and usher in the next generation of power amplifier design technology.

David Cochran, associate professor and director of the Systems Engineering Center at IPFW said: "We are excited to be partnering with the Wireless Technology Center to reduce the development lead time of this exciting new technology and will be cooperatively developing the new educational Advanced Manufacturing Initiative that will set the stage for successful transition from prototype design to manufacturing and local job creation."

The capital equipment purchased via the grant will support development of the next generation of power amplifiers, both for commercial and defense applications. The equipment funded will also add a quick prototype fabrication lab that will substantially reduce development time and allow for design confidentiality.

"This grant signifies CIB's trust toward our commitment to deliver economic impact through our research and innovation," said Max Yen, dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science. "This proposal/funding is made possible due to the strong support and endorsement within the university administration and community/industrial leaders.

Additional contribution and support to this project has been given by: Exelis, Lilly Foundation Talent initiative, Accurate CNC, Notre Dame and Indiana Integrated Circuits.Source: Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne