Systems Lab

Location: 20-113
Coordinator: Dr. Wayne Pilkington
Facilities: EE 353, EE 456
Size: 1044
Average Number of Students a Year: 138
Utilization Ratio: 0.13


We live in an age where various forms of electronic communication are rapidly expanding and the need for new engineering graduates who are prepared to innovate, create, and work with these systems is evident. The communications lab presently serves to give the EE students at Cal Poly a laboratory experience in basic electronic communications systems.

Equipment Needs

The basic approach in developing this lab will be to only provide one or two of most lab equipment setups. It does not seem very cost effective to have tens of thousands of dollars of depreciating equipment that is only used a few hours a week. To borrow a term from communications, a "TDM" (time division multiplex) approach should be used in which the lab is open for extended periods of time with flexible hours provided for students to perform the experiments. Several commercial companies (such as LabVolt) are producing modularized communication equipment (both analog and digital) which allow the students to truly experiment with different configurations as well as test for noise and performance. A high priority would be to acquire this type of flexible equipment.

Total estimated cost for these enhancements will range from $25K-$50K, depending on the number of units acquired (4-8), which, in part, reflects whether or not the lab is actually offered in an "open-lab" manner.