LHC2 Inc., a Liberty Lake, Wash.-based wireless equipment design, manufacturing and deployment company, and Gonzaga University’s electrical engineering department have been awarded a $147,794 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The award, a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer Research grant, will cover salaries, equipment and operational expenses associated with research into new “Smart” antenna systems that promise to reduce interference and improve the quality and performance of broadband wireless communications networks. The grant also will fund up to three undergraduate electrical and mechanical engineering students’ research at Gonzaga through this summer.
A recent Federal Communications Commission auction of 700 megahertz wireless spectrum raised more than $19 billion, underscoring how valuable, precious and limited the resource of wireless spectrum is today. Continued proliferation of wireless devices, which have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, are congesting the wireless environment with interference that reduces the communications quality for everyone — individuals, enterprises and especially organizations responsible for crucial public safety.
The very latest cellular broadband wireless systems, known as Third Generation (or 3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) and LTE (Long-Term Evolution), are in the planning or roll-out stages, by companies such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T and others worldwide. WiMAX is the latest high-speed wireless mobile and broadband-to-the-home system, and is being aggressively deployed as a result of the recent merger of Sprint XOHM and Clearwire and is funded by Intel, Google and others. Wi-Fi wireless networking is nearly universally used in our homes, coffee shops, workplaces and municipal hot zones such as the SpokaneHotZone. LHC2 officials state that all of these wireless broadband systems will benefit from the addition of these patented low-cost smart antenna systems, which make more efficient use of limited spectrum and increase connection speed and quality.
The principals at LHC2 came from the local high-tech community, including: Packet Engines, Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, Telect and Vivato. LHC2’s principal antenna designer Royden M. Honda has received a number of patents on Smart antenna structures. Gonzaga’s Steven Schennum, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering, provides instruction in electronic design and electromagnetics and has researched electromagnetic interference issues.
Other organizations that were instrumental to the successful grant application include Jean Montano, grants and contracts manager for Spokane-based Sirti, and Joann Waite, director of sponsored research and programs at Gonzaga.
LHC2 Inc. provides wireless equipment design consulting and high performance, standards based, end-to-end wireless data, voice and video communication systems. These secure and symmetric systems cover hundreds of square miles, to enable unparalleled logistical efficiencies for public safety, the military, utilities and natural resource industries. For more information send an e-mail message to LHC2 Inc.
Gonzaga University and the School of Engineering and Applied Science
Gonzaga University is a private, Catholic and Jesuit four-year comprehensive university located in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga’s School of Engineering and Applied Science offers undergraduate programs in mechanical, electrical, civil, computer and general engineering, as well as a bachelor’s degree in computer science. For the past four years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 30 engineering schools nationally among its peers with few if any Ph.D. programs. Gonzaga’s sole Ph.D. program is the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. For more information visit the following link.
Sirti is a Washington state-funded economic development agency. Its mission is to accelerate the development and growth of technology companies in the Inland Northwest, especially in Eastern Washington. Its target clients are innovative technology companies with defensible intellectual property, large market potential, and principals who show a strong desire to grow their business. For more information contact: Linda Hemingway via e-mail.
For more information, please contact Bob Conley, president of LHC2, at (509) 953-2182 or via e-mail or Gonzaga Associate Professor Steve Schennum at (509) 323-3545 or via e-mail.