STATE Magazine, Winter 2018

Page 82

RESEARCH BRIEFS

OSU researchers dip into self-driving market ... The autonomous and connected vehicles being developed today must be able to sense and communicate with their surroundings as well as other vehicles. OSU research is helping to find the best way to handle this. Dr. Sabit Ekin, assistant professor in the school of electrical and computer engineering at OSU, Samir Ahmed, professor of transportation systems and engineering in the school of civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Hisham Abuella are conducting research on visible light detection and ranging, or ViLDAR, to assist in vehicle sensing and communication applications. “Most vehicle manufacturers use light emitting diode (LED) headlights because of their long lifetime, energy efficiency, and short rise time,” Ekin said, explaining that LED lights have great potential for sensing and communication purposes in intelligent transportation systems (ITS) applications for several reasons: wide availability of the LEDs in vehicles, unique properties of visible light optical propagation, inherent safety and security, and the high degree of spatial confinement that allows high reuse factor.

... and satellite communications Satellites the size of a loaf of bread are currently orbiting the Earth. These small satellites or CubeSats, are a revolutionary, cost-effective way for educational institutions and commercial companies to conduct research. But with increases in their use come new problems in communication links. Ekin has been tasked with finding the solution. Ekin has been awarded a NASA EPSCoR Research Initiation Grant for his work to improve the radio frequency (RF) communication links of CubeSats. He has also enlisted the assistance of two graduate students, Amit Kachroo and Hisham Abuella, as they collaborate with NASA’s Goddard Space Center.

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Professor Sabit Ekin is working on self-driving vehicles and satellite communications.

“The idea is, when the number of satellites or users increase there will start to be issues with the usage and efficiency of RF spectrum,” Ekin said. “Our research is to develop algorithms to increase the spectrum efficiency, which provides solutions for CubeSats to properly transmit and receive data.” Multiple disciplines that will benefit from his research include space science, astronomy, earth science and mechanical and aerospace engineering, which all collect data from space. “CubeSats present their own set of challenges as they are very small, resource-limited platforms that can work in clusters or constellations. We are working to optimize the operation of spectrumsensing mechanism to increase the power efficiency,” Ekin said.


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