News | September 14, 2011

Aeroflex Endows $1.4M Laboratory At Lancaster University

Source: Aeroflex

New wireless broadband laboratory equipped by leading multinational test equipment manufacturer Aeroflex places Lancaster among academic leaders in 4G technology development

Aeroflex Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aeroflex Holding Corp., and Lancaster University announced recently the inauguration of the Aeroflex Wireless Broadband Laboratory in the University's School of Computing and Communications at InfoLab21, Lancaster's world-class center of excellence for research in information and communication technologies.

The new laboratory is equipped with $1.4M worth of test equipment donated by Aeroflex, a leading US-headquartered technology company with a large R&D and manufacturing facility in Stevenage, UK. The Aeroflex laboratory will enable Lancaster University to play a leading role in the development of the next generation of wireless broadband networks and user equipment, such as smartphones, tablet PCs and future mobile devices. The 4th Generation (4G) cellular networks that are being developed will offer the user dramatically higher download speeds than those currently available from either residential wired or 3G wireless broadband services.

Aeroflex already has a longstanding relationship with Lancaster University, having provided financial support and work placements for postgraduate students taking the MSc course in Wireless Communications, and who have subsequently been employed by Aeroflex at its Stevenage facility. Members of Aeroflex staff regularly contribute to the lecture program, and the company continues to offer placements to the students on an ongoing basis.

Professor Garik Markarian, an internationally renowned expert on communications technology, is leading the research in the School of Computing and Communications at InfoLab21, along with his team members Dr Phil Benachour, Dr Hassan Ahmed and Dr Ioannis Chatzigeorgiou.

"We are very grateful to Aeroflex for their generous donation. The new Wireless Broadband Laboratory provides Lancaster University with a state-of-the-art suite of test equipment to design, test and verify different protocols and algorithms for LTE-Advanced 4G wireless devices and systems, giving us total flexibility to develop the best system," said Professor Garik Markarian, who holds the Chair of Communications Systems at Lancaster University. "Our strong links with industry, including those with Aeroflex, have contributed to the University's worldwide reputation in this field, and the skills that they learn here mean that our graduates are very much in demand in their future careers."

"Aeroflex has a firm commitment to supporting academic research. This is the latest step in our ongoing program of assisting universities who are at the forefront of wireless technology to help nurture the talented engineers that the industry will need to be competitive in the future," added Dr. Hayk Manukyan, technical product manager and head of collaborations with Universities at Aeroflex. "We are delighted to be able to assist Lancaster University, both by donating the equipment to the new laboratory and by sponsoring postgraduate students there, and we look forward to reaping the mutual benefits of this partnership in the future."

About 4G wireless broadband
Network operators worldwide are in the process of rolling out networks for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard for mobile broadband communications, which is a standard of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that offers peak download speeds of at least 100 Mb/s – around 100 times faster than current 3G cellular systems. However the first release of LTE does not fully meet the definition of a 4th generation (4G) standard, and work is progressing rapidly on developing LTE-Advanced, a true 4G radio technology standard which will use the same frequency bands and retain compatibility with LTE. LTE-Advanced will offer the user download speeds of 1 Gb/s and above, much faster than existing DSL and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks can provide.

LTE-Advanced specifications were formalized in 3GPP Release 10 in March 2011, and 3GPP has proposed a timescale of between 2012 and 2015 for the networks to be rolled out commercially.

About Lancaster University School of Computing and Communications
Lancaster University is one of the top ten Universities in the UK. The School of Computing and Communications is the home of Lancaster's world-class research and teaching activities in the areas of Computer Science, Communications and ICT. The School is a major new initiative that brings the strengths of the former Computing and Communication Systems departments together, and offers an extensive range of high quality options for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

The School is located in the iconic InfoLab21 building which also houses the business services and incubator unit featuring several innovative high-tech SMEs and ICT Focus - the University's Microsoft and Cisco training center.

Among its current projects, Lancaster University is working with the UK National Health Service on developing a 4G mobile phone application which can monitor blood pressure and relay information about the health of the patient without the need for them to visit the surgery.

About Aeroflex
Aeroflex Incorporated is a leading global provider of microelectronic components and test and measurement equipment used by companies in the space, avionics, defense, commercial wireless communications, medical and other markets.

SOURCE: Aeroflex Limited