The University of Southampton

ECS undergraduates prove their worth in Selex Communications project

Published: 25 May 2011

ECS-Electronics and Computer Science has a longstanding relationship with SELEX Communications, covering undergraduate projects and graduate employment, as well as joint research.

The company is a regular sponsor of the ECS Group Design Project, a flagship activity which is a major part of the final year of the prestigious Master of Engineering degree programme. A group of students spend 12 weeks working intensively for an industrial client on a real project, delivering a 25,000 word report and possibly a working prototype system as a solution. This year, under the direction of Tim Moorhouse of SELEX, the project involved modelling Interrogator Side Lobe Suppression of the Mode Select (Mode S) civilian radar waveform using a sound wave of similar wavelength to the Identification Friend-or-Foe system. The antenna system and sound wavelengths were both scaled down to allow the model to be fitted into a small area, and a generic fighter jet antenna modelled as an array of loudspeakers.

The aim was to ensure the phase reduction observed at angles off the direction the radar is pointing. The beam steering capabilities of the antenna array was demonstrated by controlling the phase of the sound sent by each loudspeaker. Tim comments, “This year’s project was a great success. The ECS team successfully created the system which demonstrated the phase change. A detection system was created which detected the amount of phase change, the phase change was measured, and it matched the theoretically predicted phase dependence.”

The students are pictured here with their ECS supervisor, Dr Jeff Reeve; (l-r)Aaron Bruty, Ricky Patel, Wijendra Gnanendren, and Caleb Ng.

Electronics and Electrical Engineering at ECS came top in this year's league table of university subjects, published in The Guardian. 'We are delighted with this result,' said Professor Neil White, Head of ECS. 'It is a great tribute to our staff and our students, and underlines why leading companies like SELEX are keen to work with us on undergraduate projects and to employ our students.'

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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