December 03, 2018

Dr. Thomas Pratt Talk NEW DATE

Event Details

Date & Time

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 4:00 PM


Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Science


Hemmingson Auditorium


Dean's Office, PACCAR 211

Event Type & Tags

  • Academics

About This Event

Dr. Pratt will present an overview of research conducted by his group at the University of Notre Dame. The research makes use of radio frequency signals such as WiFi for applications that include communications, radar, and non-contact sensing. Gonzaga students may be interested to attend the talk to learn of opportunities for (1) graduate studies (doctorate research) in Dr. Pratt's research group at Notre Dame, and/or (2) to learn about summer research opportunities via the NSF REU program (mainly for juniors) to participate in a research project in Dr. Pratt's research group over a 10 week period.  Dr. Pratt will describe the core technology leveraged in his research and will then describe several applications of the technology as well as equipment/resources available for the research.  While familiarity with radio frequency applications (e.g., radios, WiFi, etc) would be helpful, those without this background will nevertheless be able to appreciate the essence of research being pursued by Dr. Pratt's research group.

About the research: 
Multi-port radio frequency (RF) systems are becoming more popular due to the increased capabilities that such systems realize. Dr. Pratt's research involves multi-port coherent RF systems that exploit multipath propagation behavior for applications such as radar, communications, and sensing. A key propagation phenomenon that his research group leverages is termed polarization dispersion, which is an inherent feature of signals passing through multipath channels. Dr. Pratt will present the basic theory behind the technology, discuss corresponding architectures and then provide examples of hardware systems used to implement these architectures, each with varying degrees of capabilities and limitations. A number of applications will also be described, including signal authentication, polarization-based modulated communications techniques, and vibration characterizations. In each case, experimental results will be used to illustrate technical principles.

About Dr. Thomas Pratt 
Dr. Pratt is a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in July 2008 after 23 years as a research engineer at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (EE) in 1985 at the University of Notre Dame, and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in EE from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1989 and 1999, respectively. His research revolves around multi-port radio frequency systems, especially physical layer issues that exploit propagation phenomena in multi-port systems. Principle applications include radar, wireless communications, and remote sensing.

He is a senior member of the IEEE and currently serves as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He is a co-recipient of the 2012 IEEE VTC Neal Shepherd Best Propagation Paper award, and was co-author on a paper acknowledged by an IEEE historian to be one of the most popular papers of the decade. He was co-author on a best session paper at the Resilience 2018 conference as well an ICT2008 best paper, and was author on a MILCOM’11 paper acknowledged as the best paper in the “DARPA Breakthrough Technologies” session. He has served as a subject matter expert in a Spectrum Expert Panel to support development of the Air Force 2030 strategic plan, and has been invited to serve as a subject matter expert at the Spectrum Access Research & Development Program TIM to inform future DOD spectrum R&D endeavors.

Dr. Pratt is author or co-author of 65 major research reports, 28 journal papers, and 52 refereed conference papers. He holds 6 patents and has five patents pending. Since 2010, he has garnered over $10M in research and equipment funding for his research group, and anticipates another $1.3M in the last quarter of 2018. He has supervised the build-up of multiple testbed and demonstration systems, including for wideband interference suppression, MIMO channel sounding, adaptive space-polarization MIMO communications, full-polarization radar, physical layer-based signal authentication, full-polarization non-contact sensing, and polarization-modulated communications. He has also acquired and supervised the build-up of a pair of world-class mobile field research vehicles to support wireless research and has acquired a $1M coherent MIMO system, a $350K target emulation system, a collection of USRP software defined radio systems, and two tethered drone systems, all that can be controlled from within the field research vehicles. His research reaches across multiple disciplines, including radar, electronic warfare, wireless communications, remote sensing, optical fiber communications, power-line communications, vibrometry, geolocation, civil, aerospace, hydrology and atmospheric sciences, and medical science. Two start-up companies have licensed technology developed in Dr. Pratt’s research group, and he enthusiastically collaborates with EigenWireless in the advancement of polarization-related technologies.