Executive Summary

Even though the wireless market is a rapidly developing area, it is necessary to have a good knowledge of both the theoretical foundations and the need to own / rent expensive measuring equipment.

Although the use of unlicensed frequency bands is free, there are many legal restrictions that allow you to communicate with other users of the same frequency band. These limits, for example, limit transmission power or occupied bandwidth. To achieve maximum efficiency (higher efficiency is associated with lower energy requirements), it is necessary to operate the components at the limit of physical capabilities. Before placing any equipment on the market, compliance with all requirements shall be demonstrated in the test facility.

Companies are therefore faced with the challenge of designing radio circuits, especially those operating in the high-frequency range.
Circuit design, together with legal knowledge, requires special know-how and expensive measuring instruments, which creates a considerable financial burden for start-ups, SMEs. One option is either to rent equipment or to purchase third party services and know-how. However, buying all the necessary tools is usually a high financial burden for a small business. However, buying all the necessary tools is usually a high financial burden for a small business.

The modeling platform provides possibility to measure basic radio parameters at an affordable price and, as well the creation of mathematical models that can be used in the development process in simulation programs (e.g. Octave / Matlab, Simulink, Python, AWR Microwave Office or Keysight ADS).

The project addresses both issues:

  • By creating a cheaper universal measurement platform for non-linear components with the option of modeling the measurements
  • By providing the necessary training seminars and workshops specifically for start-ups, SMEs.

The activities of BUT in the AMOR project are carried out by a research group led by Assoc. Prof. Tomáš Gotthans. The group is dedicated to research in the field of radio communications covering bands from units of kHz to 110 GHz. The main focus of the group is on nonlinear manifestations of components, their modeling, and possibly linearisation. In the project, the research group is dedicated to the development of measurement equipment capable of replacing several specialized instruments (time-domain measurements, spectrum analyzer, or VNA). The solutions investigated in the project are based on software-defined radios (SDR).

At TU Wien, the activities in the project AMOR are performed by the Microwave Engineering Group, headed by  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Holger Arthaber. The group is located at the Institute of Electrodynamics, Microwave and Circuit Engineering (EMCE) of TU Wien.

The Microwave Engineering Group covers a variety of research areas from basic to applied research. A state-of-the-art microwave laboratory as well as a variety of circuit, system-, and electromagnetic field simulators make this possible. In the microwave laboratory, almost all types of measurements can be performed ranging from on-wafer to whole systems.

A special feature of the group is the broad knowledge of the researchers, which goes far beyond the microwave technology. This is particularly evident in the implementation of research projects with FPGA-based real-time signal processing, the design of complex microwave systems and the use of strong signal processing algorithms.

Much of the group’s activity is focused on communication applications. In particular, the group is working on efficient, linear, and robust transceivers. On the transmission side, this includes, for example, switched mode power amplifiers; on the receiver side, the group is investigating interference-proof receivers. In the field of UHF RFID, the group has extensive knowledge in the field of reader design and tag localization. In conclusion, the research projects cover a variety of topics, ranging from 13.56 MHz NFC chip cards up to 110 GHz substrate material characterization.

The FH Oberösterreich Studienbetriebs GmbH is the educational branch of the University of Applied Science of Upper Austria (FHO), whereas the Embedded Systems Research Group is part of the FH OÖ Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH. The Studienbetriebs GmbH comprises four locations at Upper Austria with more than 5000 students. The location at Hagenberg is focused on Computer Science, Communication and Media with about 1300 students organized in several departments. Dr. Brachtendorf is professor for communication, signal processing and circuit and system design at the department of Hardware Software Design (HSD). (HSD) comprises 7 full professors. The research group Embedded Systems is the research branch of the HSD department and comprises 15 full and part time researchers.

Project Inputs:

A research group at BUT is developing a low-cost universal measuring device that will be able to replace expensive benchtop measuring instruments. The solution is based on software-defined radios. The project involves the development of an SDR platform capable of measuring broadband signals in the time domain (solution based on Xilinx RFSoC). They are also working on the use of SDR as a spectrum analyzer. Here there is developed a method based on deep neural networks that is able to identify the type of radio modulation used. The possibility of using SDR for application in vector analysis is been also under development.

The Microwave Engineering Group, located at the Institute of Electrodynamics, Microwave and Circuit Engineering (EMCE) of TU Wien, investigates the field of EMC pre-compliance measurements. As a high interest from industry has been voiced for low-cost equipment, the main research goal was set creating an optimum environment for indoor scenarios.

The main part of the work is focused on the performance of software-defined radios (SDR) in terms of radiated emission testing with wave-guide based test-sites. Therefore, the hardware limitations, derived analytically and verified by measurements, are of interest. Furthermore, a simulation framework is investigated to simply simulate and build a TEM cell for radiated and immunity testing. With the design of a reference EUT, the chosen SDRs are compared to professional equipment. Further research interests are, for instance, dynamic range enhancement utilizing multiple receiver paths and techniques to prevent front-ends from overload.

The Research Group Embedded Systems at the University Of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria was founded in 2005. The group’s working domain ranges from digital hardware design and embedded software engineering to digital signal processing as well as circuit, device and system simulation. Current focus is in Circuit and System Simulation, Near Fields Communication (NFC), high speed data links, and smart textiles. The research lab consists of 7 professors and 15 full and part time researchers. The projects are partly funded by the Austrian national research council FFG, the Austrian National Science Foundation FWF, from the European Community, and various industrial partners.  The research activities in circuit and system simulation and design deal with algorithms and prototype software for radio frequency circuits. The focus here is on simulation engines for multi-rate circuits in the GHz range and mixed EM/device/circuit simulation for THz devices.

The Signal Processing Laboratory as part of the Research Group Embedded Systems focuses in the AMOR project on modeling of RF circuits and devices. A toolbox for automatic generation of SPICE compatible behavioral models based on the Hammerstein Wiener approach is under development.