November 21, 2008

Colloquium Speaker: Alan F. Becknell and Keir Lauritzen; Hart Prize Winners


Hart Prize Winners Alan F. Becknell is an organic/polymer chemist and project manager within the APL Milton S. Eisenhower Research Center (MERC). He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University and worked in industry as an R&D scientist and manager for almost 20 years before coming to APL. His development activities have included such diverse areas as electronics chemicals, photopolymers, flexible and rigid food packaging materials, and semiconductor processing equipment design. Since joining APL, Alan has primarily focused on chemical detection technologies. Keir Lauritzen received a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and is currently a PhD candidate there. He is a member of the Radar and Communication Systems Development Group in the APL Air and Missile Defense Department. His research interests include digital receivers, analog-to-digital converters, and digital beamforming.


Colloquium Topic: The 2008 Hart Prizes for Excellence in Independent Research & Development Research: Detection of Low Vapor Pressure Materials Development: Digital Array Radar Technology

Synopsis: The overall goal for the IR&D Program is to help position the Laboratory to make critical contributions to critical challenges in current and planned business areas through research and development. The Hart Prizes were established to recognize significant contributions to the Laboratory's IR&D Program. This colloquium features the two IR&D Projects recently selected in 2008 to receive the Hart Prizes for excellence in research and development for FY2007. Research: Detection of Low Vapor Pressure Materials - Detection of low vapor pressure materials is problematic since they are difficult to convey through sample lines and insufficient material is present for direct detection as vapor. This IR&D project provides methods for detection of chemical warfare (CW) agents as aerosols of the pure material or as trace contamination on dry particulates, and additionally addresses sample transport issues. - APL Investigators: Alan Becknell, Miquel Antoine, Jonathan Boyd, Timothy Cornish, Plamen Demirev, Nathan Hagan, Neal Baker, Joshua Santarpia, Timothy Lippa, Robert Pilato, Kelly Van Houten. Development: Digital Array Radar Technology – Future radars will move from analog active phased array antennas, where beams are formed in the analog domain, to digital arrays, where signals are digitized at each array element or group of elements. Digital phased arrays offer many advantages including improved dynamic range and reduced phase noise for operation in the littorals, increased adaptivity to counter jamming, and the flexibility to form multiple simultaneous receive beams to support multiple radar missions. However, the transition to digital radar entails mitigating several important risks such as the possible correlation of errors in digital receiver and waveform generation channels, attaining sufficient receiver equalization to realize high-performance adaptive beamforming, and adequate frequency and time alignment of the transmit and receive digital channels. The Digital Radar Technology IR&D task is developing the knowledge base and capability at APL to provide critical advice to our sponsors on attaining key radar performance goals. - APL Investigators: Salvador Talisa, Hedi Krichene, Keir Lauritzen, Cesar Lugo, Erica Simcoe, Joe Sluz, George Vetticad.