Researcher Solves Wireless Spectrum Space Shortage using Photonics

Mable FokResponding to the challenge of the over-crowded radio frequency spectrum Mable Fok, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Georgia, is looking to make the use ofResponding to the challenge of the over-crowded radio frequency spectrum Mable Fok, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Georgia, is looking to make the use of RF spectrum more viable by using Photonics, the science of creating, detecting and manoeuvring light.

The Assistant Professor, who also leads the university's Lightwave and Microwave Photonics Research Laboratory, has even received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for studying how photonics could be used to identify and harness unused holes in the radio frequency spectrum. RF spectrum more viable by using Photonics, the science of creating, detecting and maneuvering light.

The number of wireless devices that use the same frequency spectrum have been increasing quite rapidly. This has lead to jammed spectrum spaces, Mable Fok believes that not all of the applications relying on the spectrum are in use around the clock, providing short-lived opportunities for others to use this space on the spectrum and she thus wishes to use the photonics technology to rapidly scan the spectrum and find empty frequencies.

According to Fok, her scheme not only allows the device to talk and listen at the same time using the same frequency, but it also enables the device to be "smart" enough to run away from interference and jamming, a technique inspired by the glass knife-fish, which uses a jamming avoidance response, or JAR, to prevent its electromagnetic signals from interfering with those of other knife-fish around them. Click here to know more about the research.

Mable Fok, plans to use the NSF grant to help develop an educational app that helps people learn more about the field of photonics which can offer a smaller, more efficient and less expensive alternative to traditional electronics.