LONDON Three new research laboratories costing over £1 million at the University of Bath have been opened by Sir David Brown, the chairman of Motorola, to provide added resources for telecommunications, space and radio engineering research. The facilities will be used for research on new generations of mobile phone equipment, increasing the accuracy of satellite (GPS) navigation and monitoring the Earth’s atmosphere.
The three laboratories are in the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and will be known as the ‘Nyquist Laboratory Suite’ in honour of the Swedish-American engineer, Harry Nyquist, who pioneered many of the advances in communications technology during the early part of the 20th Century. The suite will be made up of the Herschel Laboratory, the Shannon Laboratory and the Motorola Advanced Communications Laboratory.
Professor John Taylor, Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University, said, 'The Nyquist Laboratory Suite will strengthen our position as a leading centre for electronic and electrical engineering research and the Motorola Laboratory will reinforce still further our already close research collaboration with Motorola. In addition to the provision of laboratory equipment and financial support for research projects, Motorola staff have been involved in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by the University – both in terms of delivering lecture courses centred on the technologies and techniques used in the mobile phone industry and the supervision of student projects.
New equipment available to researchers includes a ‘channel sounder’, an instrument which measures the properties and quality of wireless communications channels. This instrument, developed for the University by QinetiQ, and insured for over £800,000, is one of only a handful of its type in the UK and will help researchers develop and assess wireless network technologies and new generations of mobile phone systems.
To help maximise the effective use of space on the campus, the laboratory has been built on top of one of the existing University buildings using special light-weight materials and construction techniques.