IMS2018 to Hold Student Design Competition Based on North Carolina State University Course

The 2018 International Microwave Symposium (IMS), this year, will be held in Philadelphia from the 10 to 15 of June. This year one of the projects in the Student Design Competition is a 16-quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) radio. The competition will be based on a course offered by Dr. David S. Ricketts from North Carolina State University (NC State).

The competition leverages Dr. Ricketts’s hands-on workshop, known as “From Bits to Waves: Building a Modern Radio in One Day,” which successfully combines the use of NI AWR Design Environment with design labs to construct working radios.

The competitors are required to design, construct, measure, and demonstrate a 16 QAM wireless transmitter at 950 MHz. Tutorials on the design of each component can be found here. The participants will design a Wilkinson combiner, a branchline coupler, a double balanced mixer, a power amplifier and an antenna prior to arriving at IMS. Files from their designs will be sent to the contest contact prior to the conference for assistance in fabrication. During the contest at IMS, the students will fabricate their designs and test each component, and then their complete radio. A 16QAM baseband I and Q signal will be provided as well as a 10 dBm 950 MHz LO. Students will be able to adjust the LO and the amplitude of the baseband signal to optimize their radio’s performance, including any “tricks” they can conceive of onsite. The performance metric will be received power/error vector magnitude.

Click here to know more and register for the competition.