FERMAT Salutes: Peter Scott Hall - Welcome to .FERMAT Salutes: Peter Scott Hall Peter Hall, ... Dr

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Transcript of FERMAT Salutes: Peter Scott Hall - Welcome to .FERMAT Salutes: Peter Scott Hall Peter Hall, ... Dr

  • FERMAT Salutes: Peter Scott Hall

    Peter Hall, 3rd from the left, enjoying the company of his PhD students, researchers and colleagues at the end of a long conference day. There is hardly any active researcher working on antennas and propagation who has not come across the name and contributions of Peter Hall. His contributions are both significant and span numerous topics: Microstrip patch antennas, antenna arrays, integrated active antennas, small terminal antennas (in particular the multi-band PIFA employed in most modern mobile telephones), wideband, metamaterials and active antennas, as well as initiating the first systematic study of antennas and propagation modelling for body area networks. Peter studied at the University of Sheffield for his BSc (1967-1970), MSc (1970-1971) and PhD (1971-1973) and after a brief career in industry at Marconi Space and Defence Systems Stanmore (1974-1976), working largely on a European Communications satellite project, he made a decisive and permanent move into academia when he joined The Royal Military College of Science as a Senior Research Scientist, progressing to Reader in Electromagnetics. In 1994 he moved to the University of Birmingham to take the post of Professor of Communications Engineering and the leadership of the Communication Engineering Research Group (where I still work), until his retirement in 2013. Whereas Peter's contributions to the field of electromagnetics are well-known and lasting if we are to judge the nearly exponential rise of the citations to his articles over the years, it is his many personal qualities that are have made him one of the more memorable figures in our field:

  • One of his unique traits is his quiet and unassuming leadership he has been capable of steering his research group into new areas of research, without any of us even noticing. The RF and microwave engineering research has grown from 5 to 12 faculty members during his time at Birmingham, and his range of research activities has also grown spectacularly. Peter has always had the essential knack of spotting promising new research areas at an early stage and making a lasting mark in a diverse number of areas: reconfigurable antennas, cognitive radio and on-body propagation being among the more recent examples. However, Peter's true contribution only becomes clear when you speak to the PhD students and researchers that he has educated over the years to appreciate the esteem and genuine respect in which they all hold him. To quote the current head of the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Birmingham, Dr Peter Gardner (also a member of Peter's research group), "he has been a source of inspiration to generations of students at UG, masters and PhD levels, to contract researchers and to junior and senior academic staff alike. We can all learn a lot from his version of the Socratic technique, used equally effectively in interviews, supervision meetings, oral examinations or constructive criticism of papers and proposals. It starts with insightful but disarmingly simple questions, proceeds through graded levels of difficulty and culminates in figuratively pushing you off a cliff, in a very gentlemanly manner, to make you realise that however clever you are or think you are, there are limits to your knowledge, understanding and insight that you need to work on." Peter's highly distinguished research career on an international level, has also been marked by his contributions to the world-wide antennas and propagation community: He is a Fellow of the IET and the IEEE and a past IEEE Distinguished Lecturer; he is a past Chairman of the IEE Antennas and Propagation Professional Group and past coordinator for Premium Awards for IEE Proceedings on Microwave, Antennas and Propagation; he is a member of the IEEE AP-S Fellow Evaluation Committee and has helped organise (and chaired) numerous conferences. His contributions have been recognised through prestigious awards, the 1990 IEE Rayleigh Book Award for the Handbook on Microstrip Antennas, the 2009 LAPC IET James Roderick James Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2012 IEEE John Kraus Antenna Award. It is fitting that a new mode of scientific communication in electromagnetics has one of its first issues dedicated to Peter Hall who has made pioneering contributions to so many areas of antennas and propagation. His legacy to our field will be lasting and will inspire generations of researchers to come.

    Dr Costas Constantinou Reader in Communications Engineering & Director of Research School of Electronic, Electrical & Computer Engineering University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

  • Antenna and Applied Electromagnetics Lab

    Cognitive Radio Dr James Kelly

    Research Fellow

    Dr Peter Gardner, Prof. Peter Hall Dr Farid Ghanem, Elham Ebrahimi, Mohamad Hamid

    Keeping a low profile A personal history of the

    microstrip antenna

    An LAPC 2009 Pre-Dinner talk by

    Professor Peter Hall

  • On Saturday 6 December 1952, La Traviata was about to be performed at Sadlers Wells Opera House in London. The curtain went up. Someone coughed, and those in front turned around to stare at them. The coughing stopped and all began to enjoy the performance. A little later, there was more coughing. People looked round again, but could see those coughing less clearly. Suddenly, they began to cough themselves. Finally, the performance was abandoned at the interval. The incessant coughing of the audience had become intolerable due to the dense pea-souper smog which had been slowly creeping into the auditorium making the stage almost invisible to the people who sat further back.

  • Further west across London the greyhound racing at the White City stadium was halted when the dogs couldnt see the hare. A Mallard duck, flying blindly across London smashed into Victoria station and crash-landed onto Platform 6. But while there was mist and darkness in the UK, there was a project in progress in the Federal Telecommunications Labs in the USA that was to revolutionise the world of antennas

  • In October 1953, a seminal paper was presented at the Third Symposium on the USAF Antenna Research and Development Program, at Allerton Park in Illinois, USA.

  • I was honoured to attend the 33rd Allerton Antenna Symposium in 2009, which is a direct descendent of that 1953 meeting.

  • In 53 a paper was given that was entitled. Microstrip Microwave Antenna, by Deschamps and Sichak. The background to the paper was that, in the few years leading up to it, there had been much work on the newly invented microstrip, which in its own right was revolutionising the world of microwave circuits. It was, as its name implied, a miniaturised form of microwave transmission line, as the paper shows.

  • We see microstrip, top left, dielectric covered microstrip, top middle, and on the right, sandwich line, which I think we would now call triplate stripline. The paper also showed a transition from waveguide to microstrip, as I assume many of the high power sources were still in waveguide.

  • Perhaps the most interesting figure is of the microstrip to horn transition, showing just how simple a microstrip antenna could be. There was of course no reference to anything that looked like a patch antenna, although it was known that microstrip did radiate at transitions, junctions and bends. The paper went on to describe a long horn in this form fed by a microstrip power divider. So, what was driving this research?

  • Here are Kruschev and Kennedy, locked in the cold war battle, each ready to press the button and initiate the war to end all wars, also called MAD, mutually assured destruction. As part of the whole arsenal of each side, radar was crucial for the detection of incoming planes and missiles.

  • These are typical radars of the time, firstly a height finding radar.

  • AN/FPS 6 height finding radar 1952

  • And then a mobile range and direction finding radar. Of course we see the reflector antenna dominant. These radars worked, but faster more agile antennas were needed.

  • Such agility could only be accomplished using electronically steered phased arrays. This is a later one, called PAVE PAWS. It was deployed to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles.

  • You can see the crossed dipoles and small posts deployed to reduce the mutual coupling. The complexity and cost were enormous, and it was clear that simplification was needed. After the 1953 paper by Deschamps and Sichek, there was a gap of 17 years, before the first paper showing what we now recognise as a patch antenna.

  • It was in this paper, Very wideband phased arrays, by Cheston, Byron and Laughlin, given at the Phased Array Antennas Symposium, in Farmingdale. Just why there was this gap of 17 years is still not clear. Perhaps the patch was developed earlier but was not published. Or perhaps the substrates were just not good enough. We will probably never know.

  • Phased Array Antennas Symposium, Farmingdale, N.Y., USA, 1970

  • But there it is, the first published figure of the microstrip patch antenna, as a disk radiator for a phased array application. Two out-of-phase feeds, giving the well known fundamental mode, with fringing fields, and radiating fields. I first saw the disc radiator in 1975. I was working for Marconi at Stanmore, London and we were visiting Marconi Research Labs at Great Baddow, Chelmsford, to oversee a reflector antenna contract. The disc antenna was being studied by John Mark and his group. I probably thought that the 2 metre diameter satellite reflector antenna that we were working on was much more impressive than this insi