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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

A Survey of RF and Electromagnetics Research at Virginia Tech

Date: 2019-01-10           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Holmes 389
Speaker: Gaeron Friedrichs


Virginia Tech has an incredibly diverse set of research interests. It is the 5th largest producer of engineers in the United States with over $520,000,000 in research expenditures, with countless research groups in nearly all disciplines. One such group is the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research at Virginia Tech (Space@VT). This houses Virginia Tech's Space Simulations Laboratory (along with several others), where technology is developed to facilitate the mimicry of the space environment. Another proud organization within the university is the Hume Center for National Security. It has numerous laboratories capable of handling classified information while performing sensitive, cutting-edge research. The Electronic Systems Laboratory within the Hume Center explores several critical research areas and focuses on all aspects of the utilization of the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum.

Selected research projects from each group will be presented. Within the Space Simulations Laboratory, a Helmholtz Cage and Air-Bearing table are being developed, integrated, and operated to recreate the magnetic fields and rotational dynamics of a CubeSat in orbit. The motivation, context, and implications of this research will also be acknowledged, including prior work and methodologies previously developed.

The other significant research discussed addresses Radio Frequency Machine Learning (RFML). It strives to achieve automated detection and classification of RF signals (particularly those below the noise floor), when other signals are present at the same frequency of interest. The infrastructure needed, development, and implications of this project will be explored.


Gaeron Friedrichs was born in Michigan in 1996. He was raised in rural Pennsylvania and attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) starting in 2015. He is projected to graduate in May 2019 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He interned with Rolls-Royce in 2016 and 2017 working on automated engine modelling and power electronics for engine monitoring, respectively. Gaeron now focuses his research efforts on electromagnetics with both Space@VT (courtesy of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Fellowship) and the Hume Center (courtesy of Alion Science and Technology Corp.).