Postdoctoral position in Ka-band planar and active antenna for SATCOM applications

 Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

Electrification and digitization are among the future's biggest areas for conversion to sustainable societies. The Department of Electrical Engineering conducts successful research and education in these areas – including renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, industrial IoT, 5G communication and wireless sensor networks but also smart electronic sensors and medical systems. The Department of Electrical Engineering is an international environment with approximately 140 employees who contribute to important technical energy and health challenges at the Ångström Laboratory.

The position will be at the division solid state electronics, at the Department of Electrical Engineering. We are looking for qualified and motivated candidates with a great interest in microwave technology.

At the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Microwave Group is conducting:
Research in the fields of design, manufacturing and integration of antennas for wireless sensors and wireless communications, operating from microwaves to THz frequencies. Extensive expertise was acquired in several EU projects, among which: past projects MiniMEMS and NANOTEC and running projects: NANOMAT and POWERFLEX. The expertise in millimetre waves involves actives (LNA, PA, MMICs) and passive components’ design and characterisation (under probe measurements capabilities up till 325 GHz), beam-steering solutions development and characterisation in an anechoic chamber, development of interconnecting methods up to 100 GHz for phased array systems and MEMS THz systems. The Ångström campus hosts a fully equipped clean room of 2,000 m2, and facilities for electrical engineering with microwave CAD (ADS, CST, HFSS), and advanced measurement equipment (VNA, spectrum analyzers).

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Project description
The position is financed under the Swedish National Space Agency and is a collaboration between Uppsala University, Chalmers University of Technology, and an industrial partner Satcube AB. The general context of the project is the study of the role of satellites in the 5G wireless networks. It has been concluded that SATCOM can significantly enhance the 5G network reliability by ensuring service continuity, in cases where it cannot be offered by a single or a combination of cellular networks. SATCOM can guarantee 5G service ubiquity in unserved (deserts, oceans, forests etc.) or underserved areas (urban areas, emerging economies etc.), where a cellular network does not exist, or is too impractical/cost-ineffective to reach. Thus, actors such as SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and Amazon are planning to launch 100,000 LEO satellites in the next decade to provide global broadband coverage.

However, the cost of satellite user terminals is still excessive and limits the large-scale deployment of commercial satellite-based high-throughput networks as is envisioned by the 3GPP working groups. One of the major cost driving components in today's satellite user terminal is the high gain circular polarized (CP) antenna which must be pointed accurately towards the satellites. This project will involve design/fabrication and measurement of innovative low-cost, high efficiency and wideband circular polarized planar array which will be the key building blocks in the future satellite terminals providing increased data connectivity all over the world.

Duties
The research project will include a mix of theoretical and experimental work, with specialization on Ka band, i.e. 20-30 GHz frequency band. The candidate will have the opportunity to study the electromagnetic design of highly efficient dual circular polarized, dual band, low-profile active antenna array for the Ka frequency band. The antenna should be phase controlled, to enable electronic steering of the beam in one or several planes to track satellites in orbit. The work involves the design and selection of a suitable array topology which will allow simple feeding geometry with minimum losses. Also the design of the suitable array which allows easy signal routing and feeding from the active beam former chips for dual polarized active array.

Analysis of the integration of active beam former components: i.e. each antenna sub-array needs to be fed with an independent phase and amplitude from a commodity beam former IC channel. The tasks involve analyzing the interconnect between the active components and the antenna sub-array, including changes in the active scanning impedance. Amplifier design, such as LNA and power amplifiers. Other activities include the implementation and troubleshooting of frequency synthesizers, building demonstrators of the proposed antenna array solution and finally perform the evaluation of the performance of the array in an anechoic chamber. Project follow-up and reporting. Publication of several high ranked journal papers is expected during the project duration.

Requirements

  • To qualify for an employment as a postdoctor you must have a PhD degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in Physics or Electrical Engineering.
  • The degree needs to be obtained by the time of the decision of employment. Those who have obtained a PhD degree three years prior to the application deadline are primarily considered for the employment. The starting point of the three-year frame period is the application deadline. Due to special circumstances, the degree may have been obtained earlier. The three-year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.
  • Previous experience in the area of Electromagnetic fields and Antenna theory as well as proficiency in using full wave solvers such as HFSS and CST is considered necessary and proven experimental work in amplifier development and antenna measurements.
  • Programming of FPGAs, integration and programming of the beam formers.
  • Besides good subject knowledge, emphasis will be on creative thinking, motivation, ability to cooperate, initiative to work independently and personal suitability for research training.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English is a requirement as well as the capacity to work both independently and in a team.

Additional qualifications
We are looking for qualified and motivated candidates with a strong interest in microwave engineering and wireless communications. Too proved ability to apply for research grants from external sources, would be considered as a plus. The project includes travel for research and to conferences, details are available on request.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of 2 years according to central collective agreement. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date as agreed. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact: Dragos Dancila, tel +46 72 366 31 80, e-post dragos.dancila@angstrom.uu.se

Please submit your application 20th of March 2023, UFV-PA 2023/781.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Electrical Engineering

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

Pay: Individual salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.se
ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.se
Saco-rådet saco@uadm.uu.se

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2023/781

Last application date: 2023-03-20

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