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


This lab mainly serves the Signals & Systems laboratory (EE 368), Analog Filter Design laboratory (EE 455), and Communication Systems laboratory (EE 456) courses. This room also functions as an additional Basic Circuits laboratory (EE 241, EE 242) and Electronics laboratory (EE348) when class needs exceed the capacity of rooms 146 -149. The presence of Spectrum Analyzers at all stations in this lab provides the foundations for the signal and system characterization laboratories that predominate in this room. LabVIEW is available in these labs, and is being used with GPIB-based equipment to automate data acquisition in some experiments.


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.