2009: Development of the 5.8 GHz backscatter radio for high-voltage lines. This was the first big technology transfer of our microwave backscatter radio work outside of the institute. Southern states integrated this radio into their substation protection equipment and deployed these systems across 25 locations in North America.
Fun fact 1: During measurements, the group stumbled upon some unique and unexpected behavior of the high-voltage radio channel regarding radios operating in the presence of corona plasma. The initial results were published, leading to a whole new tributary of channel modeling investigation. Some of the most definitive characterization of this work lies in Marcin Morys’ dissertation, WIRELESS COMMUNICATION IMPACT OF HIGH-VOLTAGE CORONA FORMATION ON AN ANTENNA.
Fun fact 2: This radio was based on the original prototype built by Josh Griffin for his PhD work, but had a massive group effort to improve the hardware. Contributors included Patrick Graf, Greg Koo, Raj Bhattacharjea, Albert Lu, Chris Valenta, Ryan Pirkl, and Matt Trotter.