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With the motto, Meet Experts, Make Friends, the 16th European Microwave Week took place in the Nürnberg Convention Centre, NCC Ost Oct 6-11. The number of delegates, visitors and exhibitors exceeded last year’s numbers with 280 companies exhibiting on the show floor. The conferences included the European Microwave Conference (EuMC), European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference (EuMIC) and the European Radar Conference (EuRAD) so there was plenty of technical content. Browsing the papers being presented, the popular topics seemed to be related to Terahertz applications, RFID, RF MEMS, GaN amplifiers and wwWave applications.
Being in Germany at the center of automotive technology, automotive radar and autonomous cars were a prime focus of many of the discussions and presentations. Ralf Herrtwich of Daimler gave a plenary presentation discussing the state-of-the-art in automotive technology. The new S-Class now can support autonomous highway driving up to 30 kph, and they are working on higher speeds which will be released soon. They are also tackling regular traffic and demonstrated full autonomous driving tracing the original Bertha Benz route taken 125 years ago. They are moving to a high resolution AESA radar unit at 76-81 GHz and using several sensors to accomplish this feat. The next step will be to sense and communicate conditions to other vehicles so that they can avoid traffic and accidents. It will be exciting to drive one of these in the future (or should I say just ride since you will not have to do much driving).
One of the most interesting displays I saw was from Leibniz Universität Hannover. They had embedded a RFID transponder into a metal cavity in their formula race car that they enter into the Student Challenge each year. It is actually self-powered using light that is converted into RF energy through the module. It can take data from sensors such as temperature, stress, etc. and transmit it to an RFID reader even at high speeds (up to 100 kph relative speed). It also functions in the metal cavity which is a very challenging environment for RF. This is very interesting technology, and I hope to learn more about it.
The Microwave Journal editors and staff were busy the whole week and a lot of post-show information:
See you next year in Rome (if I get to go)!
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