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The Ohio State University

ElectroScience Laboratory

ElectroScience Laboratory at The Ohio State University
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering ElectroScience Laboratory

Equipment and Resources

Compact Range

Range  The compact radar range at the ESL is a state-of-the-art system which can measure the radar scattering characteristics of objects as large as eight feet long or as small as a straight pin, obtaining complex radar signatures versus polarization, frequency, and target look angle for both non-cooperative target recognition studies and RCS control studies.  
OSU has contributed three primary innovations to range technology. The first and most important is the rolled edge on the reflector which allows measurement of eight-foot targets as compared to four-foot targets for the same reflector without the rolled edge.
The second innovation represents a collection of efforts to improve the sensitivity while lowering the noise of the chamber. A computer-controlled microwave pulsed transmitter and receiver was developed which has very low power (1/2 watt transmitted) yet is stable enough so that very high sensitivity can be achieved. A new techniqe for time-gating the received signal further improves the sensitivity, and has been shown to be such a successful technique that it is being commercially manufactured today by Scientific Atlanta and Lintek. New radar absorbing materials (RAM) were also developed to more efficiently dissipate unwanted energy before it can reflect off the walls of the chamber.   Range 3
 Range 2 The third compact range innovation is a new target support structure which is extremely rigid yet virtually invisible to the radar. Consisting of a tilted tapered-wing shape, its internal target rotation apparatus can accurately locate heavy objects while appearing much less visible to the radar than the thin strings used in the past. The compact range and accompanying data processing capabilities are available for commercial and Department of Defense use. RCS and antenna measurements, relating to current or future research, can be performed for interested parties. 

RF/Microwave Facility

The ESL has a complete complement of RF test and simulation capabilities including:

  • Hewlett-Packard 8510B and 8753C network analyzers (300 KHz - 18 GHz)
  • Agilent ESA-E spectrum analyzer (9 kHz - 26.5 GHz)
  • Anritsu 68369 A/NV signal generator (10 MHz - 40 GHz)
  • Agilent E4991A RF impedance analyzer (1 MHz - 3 GHz)
  • Tektronix AWG 2041 arbitrary waveform generator (250 MS/s Clock Rate Provides up to 125 MHz Waveforms)
  • Agilent EESof Series IV and Advance Design System (ADS): RF/Microwave Computer Aided Design
  • Ansoft HFSS: High Frequency Structure Simulator Finite Element Analysis

Network Analyzer

Ceramics Fabrication Facility

This is a new lab made possible through a 2006 DURIP award from AFOSR.  The equipment includes in-house multilayer low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) technology, (2) 3D inkjet printing, and (3) robocasting for the fabrication of low-loss multi-layer 3D periodic ceramic structures.  This equipment will enable investigations involving the vertical integration of wireless and optical technology.  The following equipment are available to the Electroscience Laboratory and the Materials Science Department at OSU:

  • Precision Mechanical Puncher
  • Screen Printer
  • Isostatic Laminator
  • Collating Tool
  • Furnace
  • Dicing Saw
  • 3D ink jet printer for ceramic processing
  • Robocaster for ceramic processing
  • Atmosphere and rate-controlled drying furnace
  • Atmosphere-controlled hot press
 Ceramics Fabrication Facility

LTCC Fabrication and Packaging Clean Room

Clean Room   Clean Room Equipment

Clean Room Equipment  Clean Room

Integrated Wireless Communication Systems Lab (IWCSL)


IWCSL Equipment

The IWCSL is affiliated with 3 labs: ElectroScience Lab, Analog VLSI Lab, and Non-Linear RF Lab. The lab is involved in Active Load-Pull Measurements, Testing of Bluetooth V2.0 Enhanced Data Rate Chip, and Integrated Inductors. The following equipment are available:

  • Cascade RF Probe - up to 40GHz
  • Vector Signal Generator
  • Analog Signal Generator
  • Wideband Vector Signal Analyzer + Spectrum Analyzer
  • Mixed Signal Oscilloscope
  • Vector Network Analyzer

Distributed-Memory Parallel Supercomputer

ElectroScience Lab hosts an in-house supercomputer, a cluster consisting of six Itanium 2 processors, each with 9 GB of RAM for a total of 54 GB of available memory. The processors are interconnected via Gigabit Ethernet and facilitate parallel programming via Message Passing Interface (MPI). Recently, an Alchemi Grid having 30 nodes each having 1GB of RAM was added to the ESL's computing resources. We also have several multi-CPU dual/quad core PCs with 16/32 GBytes RAM that allow developers to test their parallel implementations. Our close collaboration with the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) puts several industrial-scale supercomputers at our disposal for extremely large-scale electromagnetics simulation.   Supercomputer

Northrop Grumman APN-241 Aircraft Weather Radar

Aircraft Weather Radar  Northrop Grumman's (NG) APN-241 combat aerial delivery radar has been operational with the U.S. Air Force since October 1993 and offers the tanker/transport community some of the same advanced technologies originally developed by Northrop Grumman for fighter aircraft. These technologies include high-resolution, ground-mapping modes that enable very precise navigational fixes and aerial cargo drops. The APN-241 also detects wind shear in all weather conditions, meeting the critical safety needs of transport aircraft worldwide, and provides a situational awareness mode for all-weather formation flying. It is the only radar system in production that has been certified by the US Air Force for adverse weather aerial delivery missions. 
In 2002, Northrop Grumman located an APN-241 radar at the ESL for the purpose of integrating it into OSU’s curriculum. The ESL currently possesses an FCC license allowing the radar’s transmitter to be energized or the radar’s on-board simulation mode can be used in the laboratory environment for a variety of exercises.

Optics Facility

White Cell  Phased array antennas suffer from beam squint unless true-time delay is used instead of phase-shifting. OSU's solution is to adapt a well-known optical device, the White cell, to provide thousands of programmable true-time delays for hundreds of antenna elements, with just a handful of mirrors. This hardware-compressive approach uses a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) array of tilting micromirrors to switch light beams between paths of different lengths. There is one light beam per antenna element, and in the White cell, each light beam make multiple bounces, and is refocused to a new micromirror on each bounce.The final device can fit in a box 4" by 4" by 5".

The Integrated Optics Lab at ESL enables in-house fabrication, test, and measurement of planar lightwave circuits.  Equipment includes:

  • Continuous wave tunable laser at telecommunication wavelengths
  • InGaAs photodetectors
  • Numerical simulation tools and data acquisition software (LabViewTM, finite difference time domain, beam propagation method, and finite element method)
  • Floating optical tables: Newport RS 4000TM sealed hole table with tuned damping; four PL-2000 laminar flow isolators
  • Optical components: Quarter waveplates, half waveplates, polarizers, single mode and polarization maintaining optical fiber, fiber polarization control.
  • Translation stages: XYZ stages for high precision sample positioning
  • Imaging and alignment: Digital-Video Measurement Inspection Unit for optical micrographs and optical alignment to integrated optics.

Automotive Measurements Facility

The ESL has a dedicated automotive measurement facility complete with an outdoor automotive turntable for performing automated antenna radiation measurements from actual antennas on platforms. In recent research projects this facility has been used to design new automotive antennas that are already being incorporated into production vehicles. Future research to be performed at ESL’s automotive measurements facility involves wide-band and antennas hidden within the automobile body, as well as EM coupling and interference studies involving various vehicle systems.   Automotive Turntable 

PCB Prototyping Facility

PCB Prototyping Recently acquired automated PCB prototyping capability provides ElectroScience Laboratory researchers and students same day turnaround for manufacturing RF board designs. The state-of-the-art circuit board plotter is capable of resolutions as fine as 0.25 µm (0.01 mils) using a 62,000 rpm drill. The vacuum tabletop holds the work pieces tightly against the work surface, eliminating substrate irregularities. An integrated fiducial recognition camera can be used to align boards for double or multilayer production quickly and accurately.

Printing on Polymers

The ESL, in collaboration with Nanotech West Lab, is developing novel techniques for printing on flexible polymer-ceramic composites. This involves:

  • Novel printing procedure for printing on flexible substrates
  • Control of metallization thickness, metallic pattern accuracy
  • Application on 3D integrated microwave designs
Printing on Polymers

Remote Sensing Lab

Remote Sensing Lab

The ESL has an advanced Remote Sensing Lab with specialized equipment that was developed by the Remote Sensing Group including: 

  • L-band Interference Suppressing Radiometer
  • C-band Interference Suppressing Radiometer (currently being developed)

In addition, the lab has a 37 channel 2 to 18 GHz radiometer.


The ESL has a partnership with Wistron NeWeb Corporation for the advancement of RFID technology growth. This partnership made possible the design, building, and testing of a state-of-the-art RFID measurement lab. Currently, the main focus of the RFID lab is to develop:

  • RFID reader antennas for retail and warehouse shelving systems
  • RFID portal reader system for loaded pallets