Over the latter part of this past century and during these early years of this current century advances in electronics have dramatically impacted every aspect of human life, Today elementary school children walk around with small hand held super computer app-based devices that converge multiple services (speech, video, graphics, and multimedia) onto a small screen. They now have easy access to acres and acres of server based easily accessible information with just a few key strokes. Home security monitoring is now being implemented by video cameras that “watch the cat wander about the vacant house” and store the images in a server farm for easy retrieval. Our military is now able to strike targets around the world with pilotless aircraft that are remotely flown. Robotics has invaded the operating room in our hospitals. Today’s powerful laptop computers are powered by several billion tiny switches that operate at GHz speeds. In the lifespan of NRAI life as we knew it has been transformed by several innovative technologies that advanced electronics capabilities. Mesoscopic transport has remained a key vital enabler technology.
Today’s laptop computers have several billion tiny switches, recent past laptops had several million .
- Both were implemented as Field Effect Transistor (FET) switches
- FETs now switch at GHz speeds
- One billion switches switching at a GHz rate results in a switch every nanosecond
- Shorter Gate Length improves electron transport
- The mean free path for an electron in semiconductor materials is the order of 1 micrometer
- The typical gate length for today’s FET switch is the order of 50 nm, or a few hundred atoms
- Older FET switches have diffusive electron transport
- Newer FET switches have near ballistic transport
- Heat remains a critical problem that prohibits for further improvements.
- NRAI is currently researching advanced approaches to minimize the heat problem in electronics
As we transition to quantum electronics the future holds promise to even greater capabilities.
NRAI remains determined to participate in these even greater capabilities of electronic systems.
One of the pillars of NRAI has been our work products in underwater acoustics, sonar, and in sonar signal processing. Building on our early support of the U.S. Navy Journal of Underwater Acoustics (a classified ONR publication), on our support to NAVSEA, on Neal’s George Washington University (GWU) grad school teaching, and on the Neal – Hahn GWU Continuing Engineering Education course “Sonar Signal Processing” then being taught throughout the U. S. and in London (and later also in Canada and Germany) enabled much of our early contract work.
Some Courses Taught
Some Completed Studies (Small Sample)
Current Support Interests
Cyber warfare represents a clear and increasingly important threat to our nation. Wireless systems now promise “anywhere and any time” communications and are rapidly transforming from provider services to local area networks such as “WiFi”, to ad-hoc networks, and to mobile ad-hoc networks. Sensor networks are being developed to protect our infrastructure (bridges, dams, etc.) as well as battlefield and border monitoring. However, the Wireless Channel must be secured!
NRAI Research Interests
An active research effort at NRAI is to both enhance the modeling of the Electronic Countermeasure (ECM) environment and to enable Advance Innovative Statistical Procedures that improve fighter aircraft’s radar performance. Mesoscopic transport of electrons and holes in materials has impacted the design of nearly every modern radar (and every other electronic system).
Current ECM Research Interests