Athens, OH 17 December 2013 – Over the past summer I completed an internship at the Ohio State University Electro Science Laboratory where I worked on a graduate level research project for the U.S. Navy. The project dealt with designing and building a code division multiple access (CDMA) cellular communication transceiver which was more power efficient, more cost effective, and had a smaller package size than current models in production.
The project was still in the early stages of design when I joined the team, and we began working on the analog front-end of the receiver. The first job I had was to run simulations of the circuitry in PSpice and AWR Microwave office to verify that the proposed designs would work before we purchased components and built the device. Over several weeks I was able to gain some great experience working with the software. We ran simulations using various different chips and circuit components. The ones that performed the best in simulation were the ones that we selected to be implemented in the design.
The second job I had during this project was to order the selected circuit components and build prototype breadboard circuits in the lab. I spent the next several weeks running various tests and fine-tuning the circuits to make sure they were performed to the expectations observed in the software simulations. After settling on the most optimum circuit design, my final job was to design the printed circuit boards that would be used in the actual device. This was the most difficult part of my interesting but also the most exciting. I used the industry standard PCB layout software, Cadence Allegro, and it had a very steep learning curve. Despite the challenge of learning the software, I was able to design two printed circuit boards for the device, which I have shown in the attached pictures.
Finally after four months since I completed the internship, they are finally printing the circuit boards I designed. I can’t wait to go back and see them in action spring semester!