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Development Of A Low Cost Campus Wireless Wide Area Network: A Viable Learning Tool In Rf Effects And Measurement Course

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer and Information Technology-Related Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

12.510.1 - 12.510.18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1523

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1523

Download Count

94

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Paper Authors

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Ghassan Ibrahim Bloomsburg University

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Associate Professor, Electronics Engineering Technology/Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, PA

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Owen Wesstrom Keystone Communications

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Graduted from Bloomsburg University in May 2006. He is now working at Keystone Communications, PA

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Chris Root PSU/Harrisburg

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Graduated from Bloomsburg University in May 2006. He is now pursuing his MSEE degree at PSU/Harrisburg, PA

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Kyle Noss Benatec Associates, PA

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Graduated from Bloomsburg University in May 2006, he is now working at Benatec Associates, PA

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of a Low Cost Campus Wireless Wide Area Network: a Viable Learning Tool in RF effects and Measurement Course

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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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