The Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently awarded a DURIP grant “Test and Measurement Instrumentation for Accurate Tracking of Moving Aircraft” to Dr. Yimin Daniel Zhang, Director of the Advanced Signal Processing (ASP) Lab at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Temple University.

DURIP, standing for Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, is a Department of Defense (DoD) program that supports university research infrastructure essential to carry out cutting-edge Defense relevant research activities. According to ONR, the DURIP funds will be used for the acquisition of major equipment to augment current or develop new research capabilities in support of DoD relevant research.

Dr. Zhang has a long history in collaborating with DoD agencies, including the ONR. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) of an ONR project to develop accurate target localization and tracking techniques for automated deck operations. In another ONR project, Dr. Zhang develops sparse sampling and arrays to achieve spatial and spectral spectrum sensing capability beyond the conventional bounds. He was also supported by the ONR to develop through-the-wall target detection and classification techniques for achieving transparent urban structures. Dr. Zhang also serves as the PI and co-PI for several other Defense projects, including the ongoing contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory for the development of signal processing algorithms for achieving improved target tracking and geolocation capabilities for over-the-horizon radars.

While the primary objective of this DURIP fund is to provide test and measurement instrumentation that enables experimental validation for the techniques developed by Dr. Zhang and his ASP Lab for the projects sponsored by the ONR and other Defense agencies, the equipment to be acquired under this DURIP fund is expected to also significantly enhance the experimental capabilities for both research and instructions involving radio communications and wireless sensing. “One of the sub-systems proposed in this DURIP project is a radio frequency multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) platform that consists of a multiple-channel transmitter and a multiple-channel receiver,” says Dr. Zhang, who also instructs graduate courses related to wireless communications and array signal processing. “This platform will significantly help our research group and graduate students to understand and validate various textbook materials and research outcomes, from diversity and adaptive beamforming, to MIMO communications, MIMO radar, directional-of-arrival (DOA) estimation, and spectrum sharing.”