Anatech Electronics, a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, has published its December 2015 newsletter. As always, it includes both company news and some tidbits about relevant industry happenings. This month, Sam Benzacar's theme is "Connected Cars: More Interference Sources?," where he discusses the history and current state of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and vehicle autonomy. "It doesn't really seem to matter whether you and I are 'on board' with autonomous vehicles: they're coming, and sooner than you think, driven so to speak by governments and industry in order to improve highway safety." The government can't keep it's fleet of Amtrak trains on the tracks and prevent them from colliding with each other; their role in autonomous cars should be wonderful.
By Sam Benzacar
It doesn't really seem to matter whether you and I are "on board" with autonomous (that is, self-driving) vehicles: they're coming, and sooner than you think, driven so to speak by governments and industry in order to improve highway safety. The technology required to make this happen transcends vehicles themselves and extends to "roadside infrastructure" connected almost exclusively by wireless communications. In fact, RF and microwave technology will be the unheralded hero in this mission because it's truly the glue that makes everything work together.
In case you're not "up to speed" (I just can't help it) on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and vehicle autonomy, it began with collision avoidance radar that today if active rather than passive automatically brakes the vehicle if certain parameters are met (like you're definitely going to hit the guy in front of you). However, taken to its ultimate conclusion, it will include not just radar but cameras and other sensors on vehicles as well as mounted on everything from traffic signals to utility poles.
All of this hardware must be connected as a network, which is what vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications provide. It will be enabled with Wi-Fi, and cellular systems, as well as within an entirely new network based on an IEEE 802.11 variant called IEEE 802.11p that is designed to meet the criteria of Intelligent Transportation Systems that operates between 5.85 and 5.925 GHz, which was set aside by Congress for this purpose and has been harmonized with the EU and elsewhere.
As I've learned, the more you dig into this scenario the more apparent it becomes how insanely complex it is. However, the transportation industry and U.S. government are committed to making it a reality. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes it could reduce accidents by up to 80%.
From my perspective, this means two things for the RF and microwave industry. First, for some component manufacturers this could be the biggest new market to emerge in decades. Second, the potential for interference is huge, as in urban areas hundreds of vehicles will connect to hundreds of sensors that together will need to function like a precisely choreographed ballet. Interference at any point could potentially ruin the show.
And as you might suspect, RF and microwave filters will play a big role in keeping this potential interference in check. We'll keep you up-to-date from time to time on this emerging market. In the meantime, all of us at Anatech Electronics wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
The number of global LTE subscriptions reached 1 billion by early December, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). One in eight mobile subscriptions now use it and LTE amounting to 12.5% of global subscribers with North America accounting for 219 million of them. From June to September alone, new LTE connections exceeded 152 million, according to the GSA. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 53.3% of the market (China alone has more than 300 million LTE subscribers), Europe accounts for 15%, and growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, has increased nearly 350 this year.
China plans to build floating wave farms to create the electricity needed to power radars that will be placed on remote islands in the South China Sea, which it claims to own. The giant floating power stations are about half the size of a soccer field and efficiently transform the constant movement of sea water into electricity and stay in operation on windless days and also during intense typhoons (when they automatically submerge). As the islands, which China is feverishly building out, are too small for solar power and wind turbines provide only intermittent power, the sea proved to be the solution. During testing of the first generator, it produced more than 200 kW, which is still less than their radars require.
Will particle accelerators dump the use of microwave energy for power? Scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, CA say using lasers rather than microwave power to increase particle speed to near that of light could reduce accelerator size to about that of a shoebox. Lasers let you accelerate particles in a shorter distance to get to a higher energy, according to Joel England, a principal researcher on the project. The project will produce small experimental versions at first and if successful increase them dramatically.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told attendees at a DARPA conference in St. Louis that DoD intends to protect funds designated for research into new space, cyber, and EW weapons, owing to rapid technology developments by China and Russia that are letting them catch up to the U.S. This is not first time Carter has expressed his concern over the issue and DoD has of late made strong statements about how urgently the agency needs to collaborate with private industry to harness commercial capabilities in order to speed leading-edge developments. The result for companies serving these markets is increased funding not likely to be hacked out of the budget.
Anatech Electronics, Inc. (AEI) specializes in the design and manufacture of standard and custom RF and microwave filters and other passive components and subsystems employed in commercial, industrial, and aerospace and applications. Products are available from an operating frequency range of 10 kHz to 30 GHz and include cavity, ceramic, crystal, LC, and surface acoustic wave (SAW), as well as power combiners/dividers, duplexers and diplexers, directional couplers, terminations, attenuators, circulators, EMI filters, and lightning arrestors. The company's custom products and capabilities are available at www.anatechelectronics.com and standard products are available for purchase at the Anatech Electronics integrated Web store https://www.anatechelectronics.com/index.php/webstore
Anatech Electronics, Inc.
70 Outwater Lane
Garfield, NJ 07026
Posted December 15, 2015