June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.510.1 - 12.510.18
Development of a Low Cost Campus Wireless Wide Area Network: a Viable Learning Tool in RF effects and Measurement Course
Radio frequency (RF) communication has once again emerged as a key technology, after its importance was relegated for years by the fiber optics technology. It has established itself as the backbone of the global information technology infrastructure, putting new demands on the RF and wireless industry worldwide for skilled workforce. To meet this requirement there is a need to upgrade the electronics engineering technology (EET) curricula to provide adequate education and training for graduating engineering technologists in this area.
Within the Bloomsburg University EET program the RF effects and measurements course is identified as one of the key courses necessary to provide the fundamental points of knowledge and the skills required by the graduating engineering technologist in the field of RF and wireless communication. For pedagogical reasons, a structured learning approach is pursued in developing the course through well compacted lectures that have clear objectives, supplemented by extensive laboratory sessions. Finally, a project based learning approach is utilized to bridge the gap between the knowledge gained in class room, the skills gained in the laboratory, and real- life experiences.
Development of a campus wide wireless network was one of the projects implemented during the project based learning phase of the course; after the student gained the fundamental technical background in RF communication, and attained commanding skills in handling state of the art RF equipment and components. The project group was formed from three senior students, with the instructor acting as an advisor to the group. The students were given the specification of the project, and from there were on their own self-learning track with a timeline of six weeks. They performed a complete RF site survey to optimize the network operation and tested a pilot system utilizing different equipment to determine the economical feasibility of the system. The work was done in collaboration with a local wireless communication company and the University Office of Technology/ Networking and Operation, thereby introducing the student to their first real life interaction with the industry. The team successfully developed, tested and verified a low cost pilot wireless network. It was a viable project to enhance student learning and understanding of the complex topic of RF effects and measurements, and an excellent venue to apply knowledge gained in class to real life practical design problem. This paper discusses the technical issues pertaining to the development of the project and the associated educational outcome.
The fast changing field of radio frequency (RF) communication technology is one of the disciplines strongly emphasized within the electronics engineering technology (EET) program. Within this discipline, the RF effects and measurements course was identified as one of the core courses to provide the fundamental points of knowledge and necessary skills required by the
Ibrahim, G., & Wesstrom, O., & Root, C., & Noss, K. (2007, June), Development Of A Low Cost Campus Wireless Wide Area Network: A Viable Learning Tool In Rf Effects And Measurement Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1523
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