Wide band antennas and arrays are essential for high resolution imaging, cognitive sensing, high data rate communication links, multi-waveform, and multi-function frontends for holistic spectrum utilization and secure communications. With wireless data traffic expected to grow more than 40% annually in the foreseeable future, wideband RF front ends will be play an essential role in the years to come. However, there is a longstanding difficulty in realizing small and conformal aperture version of these arrays. But recent miniaturization techniques, bandwidth enhancements and establishment of theoretical limits, feed technology, digital beam forming transceivers and post-processing algorithms have led to a new class of conformal antennas and tight-coupled arrays that can operate from UHF to millimeter wave frequencies. This short course will cover RF front-ends from the array aperture to transceivers and digital processors to realize ultra wideband communications with channel coding for spread spectrum communications. The course will cover: 1) theory and realization of ultra wideband conformal arrays with as much as 14:1 bandwidths, 2) theoretical bandwidth limits versus array thickness, 3) ultra wideband balanced feeds, 3) material and superstrates for optimal array design, 4) beam forming techniques at near grazing angles, 5) reconfiguration methods for bandwidth rejection and passband control, 6) low power and low cost digital beam formers via on-site coding, and 7) reduced hardware back-ends. This short course is based on the work of many Ph.D. students and collaborators at the Ohio State ElectroScience Lab. They include: Chi-Chih Chen, Kubilay Sertel, Elias Alwan, Waleed Khalil, Nima Ghalichechian, Brian Dupaix, Abe Akhiyat, Justin Kasemodel, Ioannis Tzanidis, William Moulder, Jonathan Doane, Satheesh Bojja venkatakrishnan, Dimitris Papantonis and Markus Novak.
John L. Volakis was born in Chios, Greece in 1956 and immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1973. He is the Chope Chair Professor at The Ohio State University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. and also serves as the Director of the ElectroScience Laboratory. He was on the faculty of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor from 1984 to 2003, serving as the Director of the Radiation Laboratory from 1998-2000. He is the author/co-author or 8 books, over 370 journal articles and 700 conference articles, with almost all of these in the IEEE APS venues. Over the years, he carried out research in antennas, wireless communications and propagation, radar scattering and diffraction, computational methods, electromagnetic compatibility and interference, design optimization, RF materials, multi-physics engineering, bioelectromagnetics, and medical sensing. Volakis has graduated/mentored nearly 80 doctoral students/post-docs with 27 of them receiving best paper awards at conferences. His service to Professional Societies include: 2004 President of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, twice the general Chair of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium, Vice Chair of USNC/URSI Commission B, IEEE APS Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE APS Fellows Committee Chair, IEEE-wide Fellows committee member & Associate Editor of several journals. He is a Fellow of IEEE and ACES, and in 2004 he was listed by ISI among the top 250 most referenced authors. Among his awards are: The Univ. of Michigan College of Engineering Research Excellence award (1993), Scott award from The Ohio State Univ. College of Engineering for Outstanding Academic Achievement (2011), IEEE Tai Teaching Excellence award (2011), the IEEE Henning Mentoring award (2013), the IEEE Antennas & Propagation Distinguished Achievement award (2014), and the Ohio State Univ. Distinguished Scholar Award (2016).