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Title: An Undergraduate Research Experience: Wireless Propagation and Position Location in a Forest Environment PDF
Url: http://search.asee.org/search/fetch?url=file%3A%2F%2Flocalhost%2FE%3A...
Creator: Anderson, Christopher
Buehrer, Richard
Publisher: American Society for Engineering Education
Description: Over the past several years, the undergraduate curriculum at many universities has been evolving to incorporate laboratory exercises and research projects to reinforce and support traditional classroom lectures. In particular, involving undergraduates in meaningful research projects is a key to providing them with the hands-on activities students are demanding. Unfortunately, two areas in the electrical engineering curriculum are suffering from a lack of meaningful hands-on learning activities: electromagnetics and communications. At many universities, electromagnetics is taught as a highly theoretical, highly mathematical class with the goal of providing students a deep understanding of Maxwells equations. Students that complete such a course generally struggle when faced with applying Maxwells equations to real-world electromagnetics problems such as transmission lines, antenna design, or wireless propagation. Introductory communications courses may have laboratory components, however, involving students in an undergraduate research project is an excellent mechanism to supplement and reinforce the laboratory exercises. This paper presents a summer undergraduate research experience that involved characterizing ultra wideband wireless propagation and position location in a forest environment. Four undergraduate students were selected to participate in the research experience. All four students had taken the basic electromagnetics and communications courses, although only one had prior hands-on experience. Additionally, the use of impulse ultra-wideband signals represented a new wireless communication scheme that students had to master at the beginning of the research experience. After an initial training period, students were tasked with site selection, experimental design, recording measurements, analyzing data, and troubleshooting equipment failures. Although it is too early to assess the impact of the research experience on these students careers, the experience appears to have been a success. All four students reported a greater depth of understanding of the concepts taught in electromagnetics and communications courses. Additionally, students gained valuable experience in developing and carrying out field experiments sometimes in less than ideal conditions and as a result of this experience, some students expressed a desire to pursue a graduate degree. Designing this research project also provided several valuable lessons to the instructors which will aid in the further development of hands-on learning activities for electromagnetics and communications courses.
LC Classification: Bibliography. Library science. Information resources (General) -- Subject bibliography -- Education -- Special topics, A-Z -- Engineering education
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electronics -- Electronic circuits (General) -- Electromagnetic interference and compatibility
Technology -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering -- Telecommunication -- Wireless communication systems
GEM Subject: Science -- Engineering
Vocational Education -- Trade and industrial
Key Concept: Electrical engineering
Resource Type: Instructional Materials
Reading Materials
Science Materials
Teaching Guides
Format: pdf
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Secondary Education
Students
Teachers
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Rights: American Society for Engineering Education
Access Rights: Free access
Date Of Record Release: 2009-10-09 03:00:01 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2012-06-15 17:07:36 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: National Center for Manufacturing Education
Full Record Views: 33
Resource URL Clicks: 11
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
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