Early Career Representative (ECR) tutorials at the AP-RASC 2019

March 10, 2019 (Sunday)

ECR tutorials are one-hour (including ample time for questions and discussion) lectures presented by URSI Early Career Representative (ECR). The ECR tutorials provide an introductory overview of a subject area and as such are therefore accessible to all interested Radio Scientists. All registered delegates of the AP-RASC 2019 are therefore cordially invited to attend these lectures, which will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 in a single track.

ECR tutorial 1: RF Energy Harvesting

Presenter: Dr. Nosherwan Shoaib, ECR - Commission A

Assistant Professor, Research Institute for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Studies (RIMMS), School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan


The RF energy harvesting is a “Green” self-sustainable operation which can potentially provide unlimited energy supply that can be used to remotely power up low power devices. In particular, it helps to eliminate the need for a battery, which not only increases the cost, weight, and size of the device but the battery replacement is also costly and time-consuming especially when a lot of devices are spread over wide or inaccessible areas. Furthermore, it improves the reliability, portability, and user and environment friendliness and reduces the size and cost of the device. In addition, the finite lifetime of the electrical batteries is encouraging the researchers to explore further solutions in the field of RF energy harvesting, as acknowledged by Nikola Tesla, who described the freedom to transfer energy between two points without the need for a physical connection to a power source as an “all-surpassing importance to man”.

This talk presents a review of wireless power transfer (WPT) followed by a comparison between ambient energy sources and an overview of different components of rectennas that are used for RF energy harvesting. Being less costly and environment friendly, rectennas are used to provide potentially inexhaustible energy for powering up low power sensors and portable devices that are installed in inaccessible areas where frequent battery replacement is difficult, if not impossible. The current challenges in rectenna design and a comparison of state-of-the-art rectennas are also presented.

Short Biography:

Dr. Nosherwan Shoaib received the master’s degree in electronics engineering and the PhD degree in electronics and electrical measurements engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in Sept. 2011 and Feb. 2015, respectively. Afterwards, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy and the Petroleum Institute University and Research Center (PI), United Arab Emirates (UAE). He is currently with the Research Institute for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Studies (RIMMS), School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad as an Assistant Professor. He teaches RF & microwave related courses to Electrical Engineering students. His current research interests include RF energy harvesting, RF Metrology, Development of 5G MIMO antennas and microwave active circuits. Dr. Shoaib contributed to a patent, a book and more than 45 leading international technical journal, peer reviewed conference papers and technical reports.

Dr. Shoaib is the founder and chair of Pakistan’s first ever IEEE joint Microwave Theory & Techniques and Antenna & Propagation (MTT-AP) chapter. He was elected as Early Career Representative (ECR) of URSI (International Union of Radio Science) Commission-A in Aug. 2017. He is also the recipient of several national and international awards.

ECR tutorial 2: Photonic-based real-time instruments

Presenter: Hossein Asghari, ECR - Commission D

Loyola Marymount University, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 1 LMU Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA, website: http://light.lmu.build


In applications such as data communication, medicine, sensing and scientific research, the phenomena of interest occur on time scales too rapid and at throughputs too high to be sampled and digitized in real time. Photonic real-time instruments are the promising candidates for this severe problem, they are capable of operating on signals at Terahertz speeds. Two examples of these photonic instruments are brightfield cameras operating at up to Billion frames per second, and wideband analog to digital conversion operating at 1 Tera samples per second. Such photonic techniques led to the discovery of optical rogue waves, and unprecedented measurement of the laser mode locking transients. On the other hand, photonic-based real-time instruments produce information in the order of one trillion bits of data per second which overwhelms even the most advanced computers. Detecting rare events such as cancer cells in a flow or in transient spectroscopy requires the data to be recorded continuously and for a long time, resulting in vast data sets. Dealing with such data loads requires new approaches to data capture, transfer, compression and analytics.

This work presents the evolution of photonic real-time instruments in the past decades. The photonic instruments that are discussed are based on Time stretch dispersive Fourier transform (TS-DFT), and recently developed Anamorphic Stretch Transform (AST). Applications that are studied include ultrafast telecommunications, wideband data conversion, biomedical imaging, laser transients and real-time Raman spectroscopy. We discuss the latest developments and results in Photonic real- time instruments, and we look at the vision for future endeavors in this field.

Short Biography:

Dr. Hossein Asghari is with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Asghari’s scientific contributions have resulted in 3 international patents (PCTs), 1 US patent, 10 provisional patents, 14 invited seminars, one book and 81 publications in high-impact international journals and conferences. His scientific works have been high-lighted multiple times in well-recognized international magazines and he has been awarded numerous prizes, honors and recognitions from USA, Canada and international agencies. This includes the UCLA Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research in 2014, awarded annually to six post-doctoral researchers among 1,167 post-docs in all the departments.

Dr. Asghari is a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the IEEE. He was the chair of Los Angeles Chapter of IEEE Photonics society. He was also the co-organizer of the conference on “Real-time Measurements, Rogue Events, and Emerging Applications” in SPIE Photonics West/OPTO 2016. He was the co-organizer and co-chair of the symposium on “Information processing for Big Data”, IEEE Global Conference on Signal and Information Processing (IEEE GlobalSIP 2014). He was also the co-organizer and co-chair of the annual Danish-Californian photonic workshop in connection with Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC 2015) supported by Danish Innovation Center from Denmark. He has served as the general co-chair in sub-conferences in SPIE 2014 and PIERS 2014 conferences. He was a reviewer for OSA Student Chapter Excellence Awards in 2012. He was the recipient of the NSERC and FQRNT post-doctoral fellowships in 2011 from the Government of Canada and Quebec Government, respectively. Dr. Asghari’s contribution on Anamorphic data compression won the best paper award in IEEE International Symposium on Image Processing (ISSPT 2013). He currently serves as an Early Career Representative in Commission D (Electronics and Photonics) of International Union of Radio Science (URSI).

ECR tutorial 3: Transformative: Ionospheric Science in the Era of GNSS

Presenter: Dr. Seebany Datta-Barua, ECR - Commission G

Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


In the past 25 years, remote sensing of the ionosphere has undergone a dramatic revolution enabled by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as the Global Positioning System (GPS).  Due to the dispersive nature of ionospheric plasma, raypath-integrated plasma density measurements are now available worldwide, daily, and in real-time.  Such measurements enable imaging and tomographic reconstruction of ionospheric plasma density at global and 100s km scales.  They provide a relatively affordable way to study ionospheric scintillation and the irregularities that cause them.  Advanced methods of combining these data with ionospheric or coupled ionospheric-thermospheric models are leading the way to providing forecasts of ionospheric conditions.

In this tutorial we will review the fundamental equations from which GNSS total electron content (TEC) measurements are derived, how these may be inverted for ionospheric plasma reconstruction nowcasts, and some challenges associated with using GNSS data.  We will then explore ongoing efforts for forecasts through data assimilation and the possibilities of high-density arrays in future “imaging” of sub-kilometer scale ionospheric irregularities.

Short Biography:

Seebany Datta-Barua is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  She received her B.S. in physics, and M.S. and Ph.D. (2008) degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, from Stanford University. Before joining IIT, she was a Research Engineer at ASTRA and then an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University.

Prof. Datta-Barua researches the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for remotely sensing the atmosphere and Earth’s surface, tomography and data assimilation for ionospheric and thermospheric prediction of dynamics, and in mitigating upper atmospheric effects on GPS-based navigation systems.

Prof. Datta-Barua has received the National Science Foundation CAREER award.  She is an Early Career Representative for Commission G of the International Union of Radio Scientists (URSI).  She is an Associate Editor of Radio Science and was recognized as an Outstanding Reviewer for Space Weather and Navigation.