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32nd International Union of Radio Science General Assembly & Scientific Symposium * Montreal, Canada * 19-27 August 2017 Home Page

Scientific Program - Commission A

Commission A Chair: Prof. Yasuhiro Koyama (Japan)

Commission A -
Session A00

Commission A Essential Information

Commission A - Tutorial

Dr. Judah Levine - Distributing Time and Frequency Data: Requirements and Methods

Convener: Yasuhiro Koyama

There are many commercial, financial, and industrial applications that depend on accurate time and frequency information. High frequency trading of stocks and commodities, telecommunications, and the control and synchronization of the electrical power grid are just a few examples. The level of accuracy that is required to support these applications is relatively modest from the perspective of the internal time scales of most National Metrology Institutes and timing laboratories, but satisfying the requirements becomes much more challenging when the need for extreme reliability and the limitations of many of the common distribution channels are included. I will describe the near-term future requirements and the solutions that have been proposed to satisfy them. None of the solutions is completely adequate now and all of them will have increasing difficulty in the future, and I will discuss methods that could address these limitations.

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Commission A - "Measurements of Isotropic and Anisotropic Magnetodielectrics"

Conveners: Steven Weiss, Amir I. Zaghloul

The use of magnetodielectric materials with prescribed or tunable values of permittivity and permeability is becoming an important enabling technology for device enhancements (e.g., low-profile antennas). This session addresses measurement techniques to evaluate various properties of magnetodielectric materials that are isotropic or anisotropic in construction.

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Commission A - "Linear and Nonlinear Measurements for Communications Systems"

Conveners: Pedro Miguel Cruz, Nuno Borges Carvalho

Cognitive Radio (CR), 5G communications and the Internet of things (IoT) are rapidly moving to all-digital implementations largely powered by software-defined radios (SDRs). SDRs facilitate frequency agility, operation over several frequency bands and different modulation formats. To characterize and model those systems and circuits, linear and nonlinear measurement strategies are of paramount importance. Moreover, the inclusion of 5G microwave and millimeter-wave standards will necessitate new measurement techniques and test benches of wafer MMIC devices. This session will focus on current developments and some classic views of linear and nonlinear measurements and adequate test and measurement strategies, concentrating on applications such as SDR/CR, 5G, satellite payloads, etc.

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Commission A - Space Metrology

Conveners: Liu Min, Pedro Miguel Cruz

Space metrology is required to assure unified and accurate measurements of space equipment and systems. There are three themes for Space Metrology. The first is in-orbit, embedded and automatic calibration of the spacecraft platform. The second applies to the space measurement instruments (the payload). These need be calibrated and include solar observation instruments, electromagnetic field measurements etc. The third addresses basic metrology theory that necessitates the reconsideration of the application of SI units in the space environment. According to general relativity, gravity affects the frequency of atomic clock, and then influences length, voltage and mass at scales of 1/c2. Timekeeping in space is a new topic and is an important issue in navigation and astronomical observations. This session will focus on in-orbit calibration of equipment in space, calibration of space environment simulations, space metrology theory in the context of general relativity etc.

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Commission A - SI Units

Conveners: Felicitas Arias, Carl Williams

SI units are fundamental to all scientific measurements and to metrology. Various electromagnetic measurement methods are essential for the definition and realization of SI units, and various SI units are used in all electromagnetic measurements. The SI is evolving towards new definitions of units based on physical constants. This session solicits papers regarding the definition, realization, and improvements of SI units in connection with Electromagnetic Metrology.

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Commission A - Metrology in the THz Region

Conveners: Chen Kunfeng, Masatoshi Kajita

In recent years, terahertz science and technology has become one of the most attractive research fields. With the development of this field, the related metrology is getting more and more concern. This session will focus on the metrology of terahertz power, frequency, spectroscopy, imaging and also other related aspects.

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Commission A - Time and Frequency Standards

Conveners: Felicitas Arias, Masatoshi Kajita

In this session, we discuss recent progress on the development of Time and Frequency standards. Papers on experimental results of precise measurement of transition frequencies of atoms, molecules, and ions in all frequency area (microwave, optical, infrared, THz) are expected. Also theoretical papers giving new sights on precise measurements are welcome.

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Commission A - Advanced Time and Frequency Transfer Techniques

Conveners: Felicitas Arias, Demetrios Matsakis

Ever-improving frequency standards and the technological growth of our civilization is generating and sustaining a need for more precise, accurate, robust, and secure time and frequency transfer than currently available locally, globally, and extra-terrestrially. Improvements to existing operational technologies such as GNSS, two way satellite time and frequency transfer, NTP, and PTP can help solve the problem, as can development of newer technologies involving optical fibers, optical transmissions from ground or space, VLBI observations of radio sources, and differential observations of pulsars and x-ray sources. Papers are solicited in all these fields, as well as any other areas that involve time and frequency transfer.

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Commission A - Education and Training in Electromagnetic Metrology

Conveners: Demetrios Matsakis, Patrizia Tavella and Parmeswar Banerjee

Education and training play an important role in the dissemination of the metrology culture and in forming skilled metrologists. URSI Commission A recognizes the high potential of electromagnetic metrology in different fields of application and the need for appropriately educated young scientists is deemed fundamental. Many countries run university courses in metrology and/or electromagnetic measurements, including masters courses, PhD programs, and specialized summer schools. This session seeks to promote the discussion and sharing of information and teaching material, and to support similar initiatives in education and training in different countries with possible teaching cooperation.

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Commission A - Advances in Sensor Development and Applications

Conveners: C. Zerrouki, Andon Lazarov

The session will focus on a broad range of sensors, technologies and applications. These can be categorized by the sensing material, frequency of the electromagnetic waves, principles, technique and technology of development, and the sensor network protocols and application domain. The session will include papers on all of these subjects. In particular: 1, methods for sensor deployment; instrumentation and models for deployment of sensors networks; sensor architecture; micro and nano devices; biosensors; optical sensors; smart sensors; acoustic sensors; microwave sensors, synthetic aperture radars; sensor prototypes; sensor node components; sensor interfaces; actuators; independent component analysis; design of cost effective and economical sensors; smart material applications to design sensors; integration of sensors into engineered systems; hardware platforms; test-beds incorporating multiple sensors; operating system and middleware support. 2. Wireless Sensor Communications; Network connectivity & longevity; tracking objects; geo-location problems; network coverage; algorithms for sensor localization and tracking; detection, classification and estimation; physical layer impact on higher level protocols; directional and smart antennas for sensor networks; coverage maintenance; transceiver and antenna design; ubiquitous wireless connectivity. 3. Applications and demonstrations of sensor networks; software platforms development tools; architectural design and optimization tools for sensor nodes; computation and programming models of sensor networks; languages and operating systems of sensors; programming and interfacing; programming abstraction; programming models for sensors; programming methodology for sensor environments; intelligent sensor theory and applications; machine learning applications to sensor networks; wireless sensor applications; applications for sensor network management; software tools for chip programming; application requirements; application evaluation and comparison; demos and prototype testing.

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Commission A - Metrological Analysis of Material Properties

Conveners: Nosherwan Shoaib, Imran Shoaib

This session will focus on the material measurements and the associated uncertainty evaluation using the time and frequency domain measurement systems. The traceability of uncertainty analysis to the International System of Units (SI) is important to establish in order to evaluate the validity of the results obtained using different measurement systems. The papers for this session should analyze the permittivity measurements and associated uncertainty for magnetic or non-magnetic materials over the frequencies ranging from few MHz up to the THz. The comparisons between the results obtained from different measurement systems are highly encouraged.

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Commission A - Metrology for Wireless Power Transmission Solutions

Conveners: Nuno Borges Carvalho, Ke Wu

In this session the main issues to be addressed are measurements and instrumentation for wireless power transmission and electromagnetic energy harvesting, including IoT and RFID devices. Papers should focus on these themes spanning from material characterization to antenna measurements and nonlinear active device components.

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Commission A - Microwave Frequency Standards and Applications

Conveners: Amitava Sen Gupta, Fang Fang

This session will focus on research on topics related to the following: (a) Microwave Atomic Frequency Standards, (b) Atomic Clocks for Space Applications, (c) Vapor-cell Atomic Clocks (d) cell-based Sensors and Instruments, (e) Atomic Interferometers, (f) Fundamental Physics Tests with Clocks, and Other Applications.

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Commission A - Time Dissemination for Critical Applications

Conveners: Marina Gertsvolf, Leon Lobo

In the past few years the need for traceable and accurate time dissemination at sub-millisecond and sub-microsecond levels has been fast growing. New technologies drive tight technical time synchronization demand followed by new regulations. In this session the papers will be focused on high accuracy time dissemination methods for the power industry (e.g. smart grids), wireless communications (e.g. LTE), financial sector and scientific applications (e.g. VLBI). The papers will address different dissemination methods (e.g. fibre, GNSS, MW) and solutions.

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Commission A - Open Session

Conveners: Yasuhiro Koyama, Patrizia Tavella

This session is open for all papers related to the following list of topics of interests.

  • Interaction between EM field and living tissue (bio-effects, biological affects, medical applications.)
  • EM Fields (EM-field metrology, EMC and EM pollution, Impulse radar, interconnect and packaging).
  • Materials (material characterization, metrology of material).
  • Measurements and calibration (propagation, microwave to sub-millimeter measurements/standards, millimeter-wave and sub-mm wave communications, noise, noise measurement standards, planar structures and microstrip circuits, quantum metrology and fundamental concepts, RFID, scattering calibration and references, signal enhancement for EM metrology, space plasma characterization, time and frequency, time domain metrology, Techniques for remote sensing).
  • Statistical measurements (turbulent media, rough surfaces, stratified media).

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Commission SAE - "Mode-Stirred Chambers"

Conveners: Luk R. Arnaut, Tian Hong Loh

Electromagnetic reverberation chambers (RCs) (also known as mode-tuned or mode-stirred chambers) are now common RF test facilities used primarily for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) measurements and evaluation of wireless communication performance. They are enclosed screen room typically equipped with mode stirrer(s). Ideal chambers have intrinsic properties of statistical isotropy and statistical homogeneity that provide several unique features for testing. To obtain statistically uniform electromagnetic fields and hence the desired information, the modes of the chamber are normally perturbed by either mechanical stirring or frequency stirring. Comparing with other types of RF testing facility, the cost of RC construction is relatively low and the test configurations inside RCs is relatively non-critical with regard to position and orientation. Nevertheless the relevant data analysis and interpretation is more complex. Recent advances in reverberation chamber metrology and statistical theory have added other electromagnetic investigations into the mix, particularly antenna efficiency measurements and multi-path propagation in high-mobility EM environments. Still some theoretical and metrological problems are open, as well as practical aspects in the lower frequency use. This session focuses on presenting the recent advances in the theory and the applications of RC technology, RC test facilities, measurement techniques, RC simulation and modelling, and EMC applications.

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Commissions CA - "Channel Measurements, Characterization and Verification through Electromagnetic Metrology and Measurement Post Processing"

Conveners: Jeanne Quimby, Sana Salous

The session will address development and refinement of channel measurements, characterization and verification through new and refined measurement techniques and calibrations; physical or statistical representation of the propagation channel; comparison of channel sounder systems to vector network analyzers, multiple channel sounders or standards; and measurement post processing for channel verification through new and novel techniques.

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Commissions DA - "Optical Frequency Metrology"

Conveners: Ekkehard Peik, Kazumoto Hosaka, Masami Yasuda

The development of frequency-stable lasers with sub-Hertz linewidth, of optical frequency standards with uncertainties in the low E-18 range based on laser cooled and trapped atoms or ions, of femtosecond lasers as optical frequency comb generators for the measurement of optical frequencies and frequency ratios, and the establishment of telecom fiber based optical carrier frequency transfer of high stability over long distances is opening new opportunities for the metrology of time and frequency and for various applications in basic and applied science. The session will solicit presentations that address the fascinating challenge to establish, improve and confirm the precision of frequency measurements in this new regime and to develop novel applications of optical frequency metrology in fields like navigation, geodesy, tests of fundamental physics, or other areas.

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Commissions DA - "Optical Methods for Microwave Metrology"

Conveners: Mark Bieler, Yang Chuntao

The operating frequency and bandwidth of microwave devices is steadily increasing. Especially the development of novel communication technologies, sensors, and transducers imposes the need for exact and reliable measurements in this frequency range. This is mainly because devices cannot be improved if their functionality cannot be accurately characterized. Optical methods are well suited for characterization since (i) they offer an unprecedented bandwidth that is not accessible with purely electrical devices, (ii) allow for quasi-non-invasive measurements due to contactless probing, and (iii) enable straightforward traceability of the time and frequency axes to the unit of time. This session addresses such optical techniques, which can be employed for the measurement of electric, magnetic, and thermal signals and form the basis for microwave metrology.