This PhD project will be conducted in close collaboration with ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (www.astron.nl). ASTRON develops and operates highly sensitive radio telescopes to capture and process radio signals that originate from space. These signals can, for example, originate from various celestial objects that emit radiation in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum.
As most of these signals are extremely weak, high sensitivity radio receivers are required, i.e. their equivalent noise temperature must be very low. Moreover, as the RF spectrum is getting increasingly crowded, these receivers must also be able to handle large interference signals. This can be partly accomplished by the use of filters that block parts of the spectrum with (known) interference sources. However, typical complex filters increase the equivalent noise temperature of the receiver significantly and not all interferes can be suppressed. Therefore, the receiver must be designed to also exhibit a large dynamic range in order to avoid non-linear effects that disturb the quality of the signals of interest.
The goal of this PhD research is to develop innovative concepts for the design of fully integrated receiver front-ends, from antenna to ADC, that exhibit high sensitivity. Through the collaboration with ASTRON and the rest of the MID4automotive consortium (see below), a variety of promising integration technology platforms are available for this.
Embedding of the PhD project in the MID4automotive project
The PhD project is funded through the European project MID4automotive with partner from the Netherlands and Germany. This project will address the integration challenges of the application domains automotive radar and connectivity by the use of 3D-MID technology. 3D-MID is a packaging and integration technology that allows for three-dimensional arrangements of components and great flexibility in the shape of the final module. The consortium includes world-leading European companies, research institutes and universities among which are the end users, technology providers, component and (sub-)system manufacturers as well as system test specialists. Together, they are targeting international markets worth billions of euros and where this project is a key enabling collaboration effort to achieve their business goals.
The PhD project is part of the connectivity work package of MID4automotive. While the research is strongly focussed on ASTRON’s radio astronomy use case, which is not the primary scope of MID4automotive, the targeted innovations are also in line with the wireless connectivity market, where especially NXP has indicated an interest.
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