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Waterloo University Opens Next-gen Wireless Communications Facility

You'll likely be seeing more news about RF technology research being conducted at the University of Waterloo (Canada) now that its next generation wireless communications facility is open. The facility includes a huge anechoic chamber (this image makes a nice desktop background!). The University’s $15-million Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems has instruments capable of measuring electromagnetic fields radiated by objects as tiny as a human hair to as big as a two-ton truck with “the highest precision over the widest range of frequency possible in any academic facility in the world.”

Pearl Sullivan, dean of engineering, commented, “The University of Waterloo is very pleased to be the home of the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems’ new facilities, the first of their kind in Canada, and amongst the most advanced in the world. CIARS supports and promotes multidisciplinary research collaboration in highly diversified areas such as emerging intelligent wireless technologies, sensing, nano-scale radio-wave devices, bio-medical electromagnetism and more.”

The facility includes a unique multi-configuration electromagnetic radiation lab with terahertz measurement facilities. Investigation of this part of the spectrum and potential applications for terahertz signals an area the facility will be focusing on. CIARS director Safieddin Safavi-Naeini of Waterloo's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering said, “Sitting between radio frequency and light-wave, terahertz is the most exciting and least explored portion of electromagnetic spectrum, open to unlimited possibilities. We have only just started to understand and to explore terahertz in the last decade. Even though we’re just launching our new facility, word has spread and we already have considerable interest from global academic and industry circles.”

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo, added, “This amazing new facility integrates all stages in fundamental research in radio science and technology under one roof. This centre builds on the Faculty of Engineering's international reputation for research excellence, and further demonstrates Waterloo's position as a leader in innovation and collaboration ready to solve the challenges of the future.”