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Bringing physical construction and real-world data collection into a massively open online course (MOOC)

Summary

This Work-In-Progress paper details the process and lessons learned when converting a hands-on engineering minicourse to a scalable, self-paced Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). Online courseware has been part of academic and industry training and learning for decades. Learning activities in online courses strive to mimic in-person delivery by including lectures, homework assignments, software exercises and exams. While these instructional activities provide "theory and practice" for many disciplines, engineering courses often require hands-on activities with physical tools, devices and equipment. To accommodate the need for this type of learning, MIT Lincoln Laboratory's "Build A Small Radar" (BSR) course was used to explore teaching and learning strategies that support the inclusion of physical construction and real world data collection in a MOOC. These tasks are encountered across a range of engineering disciplines and the methods illustrated here are easily generalized to the learning experiences in engineering and science disciplines.
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Summary

This Work-In-Progress paper details the process and lessons learned when converting a hands-on engineering minicourse to a scalable, self-paced Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). Online courseware has been part of academic and industry training and learning for decades. Learning activities in online courses strive to mimic in-person delivery by including...

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Approaches for language identification in mismatched environments

Summary

In this paper, we consider the task of language identification in the context of mismatch conditions. Specifically, we address the issue of using unlabeled data in the domain of interest to improve the performance of a state-of-the-art system. The evaluation is performed on a 9-language set that includes data in both conversational telephone speech and narrowband broadcast speech. Multiple experiments are conducted to assess the performance of the system in this condition and a number of alternatives to ameliorate the drop in performance. The best system evaluated is based on deep neural network (DNN) bottleneck features using i-vectors utilizing a combination of all the approaches proposed in this work. The resulting system improved baseline DNN system performance by 30%.
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Summary

In this paper, we consider the task of language identification in the context of mismatch conditions. Specifically, we address the issue of using unlabeled data in the domain of interest to improve the performance of a state-of-the-art system. The evaluation is performed on a 9-language set that includes data in...

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Development of a high-throughput microwave imaging system for concealed weapons detection

Summary

A video-rate microwave imaging aperture for concealed threat detection can serve as a useful tool in securing crowded, high foot traffic environments. Realization of such a system presents two major technical challenges: 1) implementation of an electrically large antenna array for capture of a moving subject, and 2) fast image reconstruction on cost-effective computing hardware. This paper presents a hardware-efficient multistatic array design to address the former challenge, and a compatible fast imaging technique to address the latter. Prototype hardware which forms a partition of an imaging aperture is discussed. Using this hardware, it is shown that the proposed array design can be used to form high-fidelity 3D images, and that the presented image reconstruction technique can form an image of a human-sized domain in ≤ 0.1s with low cost computing hardware.
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Summary

A video-rate microwave imaging aperture for concealed threat detection can serve as a useful tool in securing crowded, high foot traffic environments. Realization of such a system presents two major technical challenges: 1) implementation of an electrically large antenna array for capture of a moving subject, and 2) fast image...

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Scalable prototyping testbed for MMW imager system

Published in:
6th Int. Symp. on Phased Array Systems and Technology, PAST 2016, 18-21 October 2016.

Summary

A prototyping testbed for an experimental millimeter-wave multiple-imput multiple-output (MIMO) radar system for security applications in high foot-traffic areas will be presented. The system is designed for flexible operation at a 10 Hz video rate, enabled by high-speed electronic scanning and real-time signal processing. Overall imaging system costs are reduced by the use of an innovative ultra-sparse multistatic radar solution and a 3-D near-field beamforming image construction technique targeted for low-cost high-throughput GPU processors. The testbed is architected with FPGAs, GPUs, CPU storage, and networking, capable of supporting future growth in capabilities, such as interference suppression & advanced signal processing algorithms, auxiliary sensing modalities, near-sensor analytics, and integration into a system-of-systems security architecture.
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Summary

A prototyping testbed for an experimental millimeter-wave multiple-imput multiple-output (MIMO) radar system for security applications in high foot-traffic areas will be presented. The system is designed for flexible operation at a 10 Hz video rate, enabled by high-speed electronic scanning and real-time signal processing. Overall imaging system costs are reduced...

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Simultaneous transmit and receive antenna isolation improvement in scattering environments

Published in:
APS/URSI 2014, IEEE Int. Symp. on Antennas and Propagation & USNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, 6-11 July 2014.

Summary

Simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) systems require high isolation between the transmitter and receiver to avoid self-interference. Antenna isolation degradation stems from errors in the physical construction and beamformer design, as well as reflections from scattering objects in the environment. An RF canceller subsystem can be inserted at the antenna feeds to improve the isolation in the presence of reflecting objects by 30 dB over 30 MHz centered at 2.45 GHz. This results in 90 dB of effective antenna isolation when paired with a high-isolation antenna that exhibits omni-directional radiation patterns, signifying that STAR systems can be practically deployed.
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Summary

Simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) systems require high isolation between the transmitter and receiver to avoid self-interference. Antenna isolation degradation stems from errors in the physical construction and beamformer design, as well as reflections from scattering objects in the environment. An RF canceller subsystem can be inserted at the antenna...

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Adaptive RF canceller for transmit-receive isolation improvement

Published in:
2014 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (RWS), 19-23 January 2014.

Summary

For effective operation, Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STAR) systems require high isolation between the transmitted signals and the receiver input, the absence of which can lead to the saturation of a receiver's front end. This paper presents an adaptive RF canceller used to improve isolation. The canceller is configured as an RD tapped delay line with four taps, each with independent amplitude and phase weights that are tuned by a Dithered Linear Search algorithm. This canceller produces 30 dB of signal cancellation over a 20 MHz bandwidth centered at 2.45 GHz in an isolated environment. When combined with a high-isolation antenna, an overall STAR system isolation of 90 dB is achieved, while also maintaining omnidirectional transmit and receive antenna patterns.
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Summary

For effective operation, Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STAR) systems require high isolation between the transmitted signals and the receiver input, the absence of which can lead to the saturation of a receiver's front end. This paper presents an adaptive RF canceller used to improve isolation. The canceller is configured as...

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Low cost phased array radar for applications in engineering education

Published in:
2013 IEEE Int. Symp. On Phased Array Systems and Technology, 15-18 October 2013.

Summary

Hands-on instruction in engineering education is beneficial to the development of a workforce that understands the complexity of building radar systems. Unfortunately, building phased array systems tends to be too costly to allow student access to the hardware necessary for developing these skills. This paper presents a low cost phased array based on a time-domain multiplexed, multiple-input, multiple-output (TDM-MIMO) approach that has been built for education. This array has been utilized in several free courses held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the Independent Activity Period (IAP) between semesters. Students have built, tested, and taken home a number of these radars and continue to operate these on their own, either for recreation or as part of their undergraduate research activities.
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Summary

Hands-on instruction in engineering education is beneficial to the development of a workforce that understands the complexity of building radar systems. Unfortunately, building phased array systems tends to be too costly to allow student access to the hardware necessary for developing these skills. This paper presents a low cost phased...

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Overlapped digital subarray architecture for multiple beam phased array radar

Author:
Published in:
EuCAP 2011, 5th European Conf. on Antrennas and Propagation, 11-15 April 2011, pp. 3027-3030.

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit and Receive Integrated Circuits and panel-based Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) will be presented. A program plan for risk reduction and system demonstration will be outlined.
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit and Receive Integrated...

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Low cost multifunction phased array radar concept

Published in:
2010 IEEE Int. Symp. on Phased Array Systems, 12 October 2010.

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit and Receive Integrated Circuits and a panel-based Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) will be presented. A program plan for risk reduction and system demonstration will be outlined.
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit...

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Low-profile dual-polarized UHF array antenna

Published in:
2010 IEEE Int. Symp. on Phased Array Systems & Technology, 12 October 2010, p. 599-602.

Summary

A low-profile dual-polarized UHF array antenna has been developed for wide field-of-view dual sector coverage in the 250 to 450 MHz frequency range for communications or radar applications. The antenna utilizes a pair of parasitically-tuned dipole arrays for horizontal polarization and a pair of parasitically-tuned monopole arrays for vertical polarization, and both arrays are mounted on a common ground plane. The thickness of the antenna is 18.2 cm. Numerical electromagnetic simulations were used to analyze and optimize the antenna parameters prior to fabrication. Measurements of the dual-polarized prototype in an anechoic chamber demonstrate the antenna?s return loss and dual-polarized radiation gain pattern performance.
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Summary

A low-profile dual-polarized UHF array antenna has been developed for wide field-of-view dual sector coverage in the 250 to 450 MHz frequency range for communications or radar applications. The antenna utilizes a pair of parasitically-tuned dipole arrays for horizontal polarization and a pair of parasitically-tuned monopole arrays for vertical polarization...

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