Curriculum

Elmer-in-Chief Prof. David Kazdan, AD8Y, and ‘EDU secretary/treasurer Kristina Collins, KD8OXT, currently teach two courses using amateur radio as a teaching tool. The course descriptions can be found below. For questions, email Dr. Kazdan.

USSO 290Y – “Shrinking the World: Ham Radio & Distance Communication” – Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017
Radio operators can talk to each other across the world, launch and use space satellite
stations, and bounce their voices off the moon. And yet the Federal Communications
Commission still regulates what they may say on the air. Why is that? And why does amateur radio require a license? In this course, we’ll discuss the history of long-distance communication methods stretching from the British Penny Post into the modern digital age, viewed particularly through the lens of the Amateur Radio Service. We will also explore the ways that advances in communication technology have changed politics, entertainment and personal interactions. Who makes the rules for a new system of communication? What causes changes in those rules? Was Orson Welles morally, ethically, or legally responsible for causing a mass panic with his reading of “War of the Worlds?” What might the future hold for communications? Students will earn amateur radio licenses, make contacts with other radio amateurs around the world and with each other, and possibly bounce signals off the moon and listen for their return. We will also look at the ham radio culture, from QSL cards to public service and contesting. Students will learn some basic hands-on electronics, but no previous technical background is required.

EECS 397/600 – “Introduction to RADAR” – Spring 2017
Basic aspects of history of radar and of modern radar systems, with laboratory work.  Topics will include radar cross section, noise, modulation, the radar range equation, waveform design, pulse compression, detection, antennas, propagation, synthetic aperture radar, and miscellaneous general topics.  Comparisons with acoustic ranging SONAR will be made.  Laboratory exercises will include passive radar demonstration using amateur radio equipment, acoustic ranging, and small-team construction of synthetic aperture radar system capable of sensing range, doppler, and synthetic aperture radar imaging. TuTh 1-2:15pm, Glennan 709.