UVic researching future of radio

New course at University of Victoria first of its kind in Canada

Electrical engineering and computer science students at the University of Victoria are getting a jump on their counterparts at other Canadian schools thanks to a new course that made its debut this fall.

The training, which is the first of its kind in Canada, focuses on software-defined radio (SDR).

It’s an emerging technology that might be on the verge of revolutionizing the communications world.

SDR technology replaces the traditional hardware used in radio transmitters and receivers with software, improving signal processing, reducing interference and providing greater flexibility in both receiving and transmitting signals.

“It’s a sea change,” said Peter Driessen, the UVic professor who successfully lobbied the department of electrical and computer engineering to introduce SDR training into its curriculum. “Just like going from a ‘dumb’ phone to a smart phone, where dumb phones are just a phone, but smart phones can do so much more. ‘Dumb’ radio is going to become ‘smart radio.’”

Driessen feels that SDR technology is about five years away from being widely available in consumer products like AM/FM radios, GPS units, and cellphones.

That’s why he wanted to introduce it to his students as soon as possible.

“We have a responsibility to teach advanced stuff,” he said. “That, combined with my personal interest in radio and software, (were why) I decided it was time to do it.”

The training includes a third-year course for undergraduate students as well as a graduate-level course.

The program cost the university about $25,000 to implement. Most of that money will pay for the hardware — similar to a sound card, with antennas instead of speakers and a microphone —  students will use. The software, however, is open source and doesn’t cost a thing.

“(It) has come to the point where this technology is feasible to have in the undergrad lab,” Driessen said. “We’re at the point where it’s not flaky, experimental software, but a more robust software platform that students can use and I can use.”

editor@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

VicPD officer used siren, emergency lights to get kids to school: OPCC report

Annual misconduct report includes VicPD former chief Frank Elsner and other officers

VicPD return Victoria fugitive from France for attempted murder trial

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

West Shore RCMP catches driver going 50 kilometres over speed limit

Driver caught on Veterans Memorial Parkway between Sooke and Kelly Roads

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Runners brave wet, windy weather for Ucluelet’s 20th Edge to Edge

“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments.”

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

Open house for Royal Beach tonight

The third open house to gather public input on Royal Beach takes… Continue reading

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Most Read