Thursday, August 18, 2011

Product Highlights from EMC 2011

I spent the last two days in lovely Long Beach, CA at the IEEE EMC 2011 conference and exhibition. It is a great venue right on the harbor including the nice southern CA weather with the Queen Mary parked right across the harbor. The traffic in the exhibition was average with some busy times in the morning but typically slowing as the day went on. I visited all the microwave companies at the show and have noted below some of the more interesting products I came across. A full report will be coming in a couple of days highlighting all the companies I visited.

AR was showing off their DER2018 digital emissions receiver with continuous coverage from 20 Hz to 18 GHz with 140 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. We shot a video to demonstrate its fast scanning performance as it displayed a full scan in 7 sec that would take a spectrum analyzer something like 10 minutes to produce.

For test and measurement, R&S had several displays but highlighted their RTO Oscilloscope in a video we shot. The touch screen display and noise floor are very impressive. Agilent was showing off their N9038A MXE EMI receiver which we also captured on video. It can scan 20 minutes of gap less data using its data recording function. Aeroflex was showing off their new S-Series fast, low noise signal generator operating from 100 kHz to 3 or 6 GHz.

There were many impressive amplifiers such as IFI's 1 to 6 GHz, single band amplifier which is unique to the industry, Ophir's family of 80 to 1000 MHz models ranging from 200 to 2000 W and CPI's 18 to 22 GHz 250 W model. Miteq had on display their family of fiber optic links to 22 GHz which are well suited for low loss equipment links that are immune to interference. 3M showed me a ribbon flex cable that performs to 12 GHz even when fully folded at a 90 degree angle.

I was able to attend the Gala Event on the Queen Mary which was spectacular and well put together. Hundreds of attendees were transported for a short ride to the other side of the harbor and enjoyed drinks and dinner on the majestic ship. The organizers did a great job this year! Next year's show is in Pittsburgh, PA - see you there.

RF Things to look for in the UK

At the Journal, we are currently working on our September European Microwave Week Show issue. This year the event takes place in Manchester, UK and so England is on our minds. The show is about six weeks away and early signs of heavy activity among Journal advertisers and EuMW exhibitors is indicating a strong show. If you are among the microwave professionals travelling to the UK keep your eyes out for the RFID way-finding system that is being deployed troughout the country to assist the blind and partially sighted.

According to RFID News, a UK-based charitable organization known as Guide Dogs is working with the University of Reading to employ RFID technology to provide the visually impared with the means to choose how they get about. The way-finding system consists of three main components: RFID tags, a handheld receiver, and a database of pre-recorded messages about each tag’s location.

The tags are embedded in the surrounding environment such as at bus stops or indoor shopping centers. When it comes into range, the handheld reader scans the tag and speaks to the user, telling exactly where he/she is. The system, dubbed Talking Tags can also provide additional information about the immediate environment around them. Users and potential service providers such as city officals, retail outlets, and transit providers recently tested the system in London and gave it positive reviews.