UCSB Current article focuses on Prof. Yasamin Mostofi Lab’s research on 3D through-wall imaging

youtube video of mostofi lab research

UCSB researchers propose a new method for 3D through-wall imaging that utilizes drones and WiFi

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi’s lab have given the first demonstration of three-dimensional imaging of objects through walls using ordinary wireless signal. The technique, which involves two drones working in tandem, could have a variety of applications, such as emergency search-and-rescue, archaeological discovery and structural monitoring.

“Our proposed approach has enabled unmanned aerial vehicles to image details through walls in 3D with only WiFi signals,” said Mostofi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB. “This approach utilizes only WiFi RSSI measurements, does not require any prior measurements in the area of interest and does not need objects to move to be imaged.”

The proposed methodology and experimental results appeared in the Association for Computing Machinery/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN).

In their experiment, two autonomous octocopters take off and fly outside an enclosed, four-sided brick house whose interior is unknown to the drones. While in flight, one copter continuously transmits a WiFi signal, the received power of which is measured by the other copter for the purpose of 3D imaging.

After traversing a few proposed routes, the copters utilize the imaging methodology developed by the researchers to reveal the area behind the walls and generate 3D high-resolution images of the objects inside. The 3D image closely matches the actual area.

“High-resolution 3D imaging through walls, such as brick walls or concrete walls, is very challenging, and the main motivation for the proposed approach,” said Chitra R. Karanam, the lead Ph.D. student on this project.

This development builds on previous work in the Mostofi Lab, which has pioneered sensing and imaging with everyday radio frequency signals such as WiFi. The lab published the first experimental demonstration of imaging with only WiFi in 2010, followed by several other works on this subject.

Their previous 2D method utilized ground-based robots working in tandem, the success of the 3D experiments is due to the copters’ ability to approach the area from several angles, as well as to the new proposed methodology developed by her lab.

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Vince Radzicki (EE) and Jenna Cryan (CE) receive “Outstanding Teaching Assistant” honors at the 2017 College of Engineering “Senior Send-Off”

photos radzicki and cryan
College of Engineering (CoE) celebrates the undergraduate class of 2017 on June 16th at their annual “Senior Send-Off” event

The event program and reception included honoring seniors, teaching assistants and faculty members.

The following graduate students received “Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA)” recognitions from the graduating seniors in their program:

Electrical Engineering (EE): Vince Radzicki
Computer Engineering (CE): Jenna Cryan

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ECE Profs. Hua Lee (EE) and Luke Theogarajan & Forrest Brewer (CE) receive “Outstanding Faculty” honors at the 2017 College of Engineering “Senior Send-Off”

photos lee, brewer and theogarajan
College of Engineering (CoE) celebrates the undergraduate class of 2017 on June 16th at their annual “Senior Send-Off” event

The event program and reception included honoring seniors, teaching assistants and faculty members.

The following ECE faculty received “Outstanding Faculty” recognitions from the graduating seniors in their program:

Electrical Engineering: Professor Hua Lee

Computer Engineering: Professors Forrest Brewer and Luke Theogarjan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ECE and CE Seniors honored at the College of Engineering’s 2017 “Senior Send-Off” event

senior send-off and coe logos Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Engineering students recognized for Academic Honors and Scholarships Awarded in 2016-17 at the CoE “Senior Send-Off” event held on Friday, June 16th in the Bren Hall Courtyard

UNIVERSITY AWARD OF DISTINCTION

Alex Hunter (EE)

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AWARDS

John and Sheila Lake Excellence Award – awarded by the COE to an undergraduate in recognition of outstanding service and academic scholarship

Ryan Calloway and Jaime Topete

College of Engineering Alumni Award – awarded to an alumnus of the COE in recognition of their outstanding achievement in engineering or technology fields, and whose accomplishments serve as a role model to future COE students

John E. Gerngross

College of Engineering – Academic Honor
Awarded to the student with the highest grade point average of the College of Engineering graduating class as of the winter quarter, who was enrolled as a full-time, matriculated UCSB student through the spring quarter, and is expected to complete all degree requirements as of the spring quarter

Brian Canty (EE)

COE ACADEMIC HONORS

Outstanding Seniors

Computer Engineering – Brian Sandler
Electrical Engineering – Brian Canty

College of Engineering Honors Program for Academic Excellence

Electrical Engineering

Brian Canty, Junqian Liu, Tyler Vuong

Computer Engineering

Kyle Carson, Albert Chen, Ryan Kaveh, Bo Luan, Nichol Moghaddas, Trevor Morris

COE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED IN 2016-17

Glen Culler Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students in honor of the late Dr. Glen Culler, former Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics (1959-1969), one of the creators of the Internet, as well as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology.

Albert Chen (CE) and Kyle Carson (CE)

William R. Hearst Foundation Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Shibo Zhong (EE), Junqian Liu (EE), Tyler Vuong (EE), Trevor Morris (CE), Nichol Moghaddas (CE)

Professor Joseph J. Sayovitz Scholarship
Awarded for outstanding academic achievement in Electrical Engineering, in honor of the late Joseph J. Sayovitz, Professor of Industrial Arts and lecturer in Electrical Engineering

Aditya Wadaskar (EE)and Alex Nguyen-Le (EE)

Northrop Grumman
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Ryan Kaveh (CE)

Student Affairs Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Brian Canty (EE)

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“Dreaming Big” – ECE Prof. John Bowers and other COE Professors take on global issues

children reading with light
Four COE professors dream big and devote enormous time, research and resources to bring modern technology to those who otherwise might not reap its benefits

ECE Professor John Bowers and CS Professors Chandra Krintz, Rich Wolski and Elizabeth Belding have worked at odd hours and in diverse locations — African villages, California farms and Native American reservations — pursuing ambitious projects to aid people around the world.

With assistance from UCSB undergraduate and graduate students and working with research partners and nonprofit organizations, these engineers practice altruism in ways that have produced affordable lights, sustainable farming tools and broader Wi-Fi access in remote rural areas.

“Since it began 50 years ago, the College of Engineering has been focusing on providing solutions for society’s needs,” said Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering. “We continue that altruistic tradition to this day. The example that John, Chandra, Rich and Elizabeth set for future engineers and educators by looking outside our own boundaries and helping those in need is both essential and heartwarming.”

Night Lights – Professor John Bowers (African villages)

For 15 minutes every night, a crude kerosene lamp provides dim light for a young girl trying to complete her homework at a rickety table in a tin shack in an African slum. The fumes are noxious and the smoke scratches her eyes. If knocked over, the lamp likely would burst into a ball of fire, burn down the hut and perhaps injure — or even kill — those inside.

While inconceivable to most of us, Ghanaian scholar Osei Darkwa once described this true account of daily life in regions of Ghana — where there is no electricity — to electrical and computer engineering professor John Bowers during a meeting at UCSB.

Caught off guard, Bowers, who holds the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology at UCSB and serves as director of the campus’ Institute for Energy Efficiency, recalled how he began listing the college’s renowned accomplishments with energy efficiency, LED lights and solar cells. “I’m feeling pretty good, you know,” Bowers said, laughing. “We’re changing the world, right?” Not so much, according to Darkwa. No one in his country can afford flashlights, let alone high-tech gadgets.

After that discussion, Bowers, with the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the organization Engineers Without Borders, created the Luke Light, a simple solar-powered LED device. A second-generation model developed later has a USB connection for recharging electronic gadgets like mobile phones.

Teaming with Santa Barbara attorney Claude Dorais, Bowers then co-founded the nonprofit organization Unite to Light. Over the eight years since his first meeting with Darkwa, approximately 75,000 lamps have been distributed — to school children and to midwifes, who use them to deliver babies — in Ghana, South Africa, Haiti, Peru and elsewhere.

“It’s just stupid to burn things for lighting,” Bowers said. “It’s expensive buying wood, buying candles, buying kerosene. It’s bad for your health and it’s bad for climate change. You can see the impacts in places like in India where there is a lot of kerosene burning. You can see it in the greenhouse gas distributions.”

Solar power is free, he added. The lamp pays for itself in three months when compared to routinely buying kerosene. And when fully charged, the lamp can provide four or more hours of light.

“The thing we found in customer feedback was there’s a real need for charging mobile phones,” Bowers added, referring to the charger-equipped model. “Lots of people can afford mobile phones but it often costs a $1 to charge them.”

Long term, Bowers would like to see the operation — overseen by Unite to Light — become self-sustaining with better distribution partners. “We need to set up a network in Africa where we are shipping these things by the crate and people are buying them,” he said.

Selling for $10 and $20, respectively, the Luke Light and Luke Light with Lumen Charger have a long life expectancy, which is limited by the battery. The rechargeable battery in the Luke Light can be replaced for about $1. Many philanthropic organizations, such as Rotary International and Direct Relief International, buy the lights to distribute where needed. The devices also are sold directly to individuals online at unitetolight.org through a buy one/donate one program.

Unite to Light hopes to distribute about 25,000 lights per year, said Megan Birney, the organization’s president. “We’ll see how that goes,” she added. “I kind of reach high and see what happens. I’d rather reach high and fall short than have missed an opportunity. There are still 1.2 billion people without access to electricity, so there really is a need.”

See the full UCSB Current article to learn more about the other projects:

  • SmartFarm Tools – Chandra Krintz and Rich Wolski (California farms)
  • Wireless Link – Elizabeth Belding (Native American reservations)
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ECE and ME undergraduate engineers showcase their 2017 Capstone projects

two students with project
Students from UCSB’s Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments impress hundreds of people — faculty, sponsors, fellow students, parents, and guests from beyond UCSB — who attended the 2017 UCSB Engineering Design Fair and Showcase, held Friday, June 9, at Corwin Pavilion

The annual event featured 118 senior undergraduate students, who presented posters and table demonstrations of 21 projects. Three of the projects were large-scale multidisciplinary efforts with 12 to 21 students. Judges walked the fair, talked with the students, and then awarded top honors to the following representatives from each department.

Electrical & Computer Engineering Projects

Mechanical Engineering Projects

Multidisciplinary Project

“The projects just keep getting better every year,” said UCSB lecturer Dr. Ilan Ben-Yaacov, the lead advisor for multiple projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“This year, one-hundred percent of our sponsors were happy,” added Dr. Tyler Susko, UCSB lecturer, who manages the Capstone program in Mechanical Engineering. “Our students are all smart and capable, but ambition and inner drive are what make a good project, and these students had it.”

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Computer Engineering (ECE 189) – 2017 Senior Capstone Best Project awardees

photo of winners
On June 8th Computer Engineering students presented their ECE 189 Capstone Senior Projects and were given best project awards from industry judges

 

 

 

Computer Engineering – Senior Computer Systems Project (ECE 189)

The CE Capstone Project gives Computer Engineering students the opportunity to put their education into practice. Students, working in small teams, design and engineer innovative hardware and software systems using techniques from robotics, distributed systems, circuit design, networking, and real-time systems to tackle problems and create a final “tangible” project.

Best Computer Engineering Project – Gestur: a virtual reality glove focused on obtaining a high degree of precision between the movements of the hand and how it is represented in virtual space, while simultaneously providing haptic feedback to emulate the sensation of touch
Team: Ryan Kaveh, Kyle Carson, Jon Young

Best Multidisciplinary Project – UCSB Hyperloop: a vehicle designed to zip through a vacuum tunnel at high speeds. The pod’s payload levitates with the use of four magnetic levitation engines, which reduces the vehicle’s drag.
Team: Yang Ren, Tristan Seroff, Asitha Kaduwela, Jesus Diera

ECE & CS 189 Senior Capstone Course
ECE & CS 189 Capstone Projects
ECE 189 Event
ECE 189 Capstone Event Album

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Optically Pumped Ultra-Low Loss Waveguide Lasers and Amplifiers

An increasing number of systems and applications depend on photonics for transmission and signal processing. This includes data centers, communications systems, environmental sensing, radar, lidar, and microwave signal generation. Moving forward, monolithic integration of traditionally bulk optical components onto the chip scale will be necessary to significantly reduce power and cost while simultaneously maintaining the requisite performance specifications at high production volumes. A critical aspect is the loss of the integrated waveguide, along with the capability to design a wide range of passive and active optical elements using a low cost, highly manufacturable wafer-scale integration process such as that found in the electronics industry (CMOS). There has been a strong body of work to date on the reduction of waveguide loss and implementation of devices based on passive waveguides. This dissertation advances the state of the art in ultra-low loss waveguide integration by developing and realizing on-chip optical gain elements, and ultimately lasers, based on rare-earth-ion dopants. The analysis, design, fabrication procedure, and resulting experimental demonstration of a series of rare-earth-ion-doped optically pumped lasers that leverage the unique properties of a Si3N4-core/SiO2-clad ultra-low loss waveguide platform is detailed. The low passive loss and highly temperature stable optical gain properties of this platform enable integration of a wide variety of linear and nonlinear optical components on-chip. This opens new integration possibilities within the data communications, microwave photonics, high bandwidth electrical RF systems, sensing, and optical signal processing applications and research communities.

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Heterogeneous Silicon/III-V Mode-Locked Lasers

The mode-locked laser is a specialized laser that is used to produce repetitive ultra-short optical pulses at microwave and millimeter wave frequencies. The resulting spectral profile of the laser light is a phase-locked comb of regularly spaced longitudinal modes, and the timing of the pulse train is highly stable. These pulses are among the shortest man-made events, and the temporal concentration of optical energy can be extremely high. These properties are useful in a wide range of applications. Surgical instruments take advantage of highly spatially and temporally focused pulses for precision tissue removal. The broad-band optical comb emission can be used for chemical spectroscopy, or in specialized optical clocks for extremely accurate frequency counting. The stable radio-frequency train of short pulses can provide difference frequency generation and optical sampling signals for microwave photonic applications such as high frequency radar.

The most common mode-locked lasers are optically pumped solid state lasers, utilizing an electronic transition in an ionized impurity, like neodymium, erbium, or titanium, embedded in a transparent host material, which can be a bulk crystal like sapphire or a silica fiber; however, the size, cost, and power consumption of these devices limit their widespread application.
By contrast, the mode-locked laser diode uses an electrically pumped semiconductor as a medium for optical amplification. Diode lasers are hundreds to thousands of time smaller than solid state lasers, and the laser diode is an extremely efficient light source, with power consumption usually several hundred milliwatts, compared to tens to thousands of watts for solid state lasers. They have similarly reduced output power, unfortunately, and so have not been able to compete with solid state lasers in commercial applications.

Mode-locked laser diodes also bring the promise of photonic integration: the combination of multiple optical and electronic functions, manufactured together on a single chip. While this allows production at high volume and lower cost, the true potential of integration is to open applications for mode-locked laser diodes where solid state lasers cannot fit, either due to size and power consumption constraints, or where small optical or electrical paths are needed for high bandwidth. Unfortunately, most high power and highly stable mode-locked laser diode demonstrations in scientific literature are based on the Fabry-Perot resonator design and are unsuitable for use in integrated circuits.

Silicon photonics and heterogeneous integration with III-V gain material is used to produce the most powerful and lowest noise fully integrated mode-locked laser diode in the 20 GHz frequency range, and if low noise and high peak power are required, it is arguable the best performing fully integrated mode-locked laser ever demonstrated.

This thesis will present the design methodology and experimental pathway to realize a fully integrated mode-locked laser diode. The construction of the device, beginning with the selection of an integration platform, and proceeding through the fabrication process to final optimization, will be presented in detail.

Applications for integrated circuit mode-locked lasers will also be proposed, as well as proposed methods for using integration to improve mode-locking performance to beyond the current state of the art.

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Structuring Light to Manipulate Multipolar Resonances for Metamaterial Applications

Multipolar electromagnetic phenomena in sub-wavelength resonators are at the heart of metamaterial science and technology. Typically, researchers engineer multipolar light-matter interactions by modifying the size, shape, and composition of the resonators. Here, we instead engineer multipolar interactions by modifying properties of the incident radiation. In this talk, I propose a new framework for determining the scattering response of resonators based on properties the local excitation field, and apply this framework to expose a number of interesting modifications of the multipolar response of dielectric particles.

First, we derive an analytical theory to determine the scattering response of spherical nanoparticles under any type of illumination. Using this theory, we demonstrate the ability to drastically manipulate the scattering properties of a spherical nanoparticle by varying the illumination and demonstrate excitation of a longitudinal quadrupole mode that cannot be accessed with conventional illumination. Next, we investigate the response of dielectric dimer structures illuminated by cylindrical vector beams. Using finite-difference time-domain simulations, we demonstrate significant modification of the scattering spectra of dimer antennas and reveal how the illumination condition gives rise to these spectra through manipulation of electric and magnetic mode hybridization. Finally, we present a simple and efficient numerical simulation based on local field principles for extracting the multipolar response of any resonator under illumination by structured light. This work enhances the understanding of fundamental light-matter interactions in metamaterials and lays the foundation for researchers to identify, quantify, and manipulate multipolar light-matter interactions through optical beam engineering.

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