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Jay W. McDaniel, PhD


McDaniel Microwave Group

Welcome to the McDaniel Microwave Group (MMG) webpage. The MMG research team is part of the Advanced Radar Research Center (ARRC) housed within the Radar Innovations Laboratory (RIL) on the research campus at The University of Oklahoma. MMG's research specializes in radar system design for defense, commercial, and remote sensing applications; RF/microwave component design; electromagnetic modeling and simulations; and multi-sensor fusion techniques for position, navigation, and timing. The research group is led by Dr. Jay McDaniel, Assistant Professor within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Latest News

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Jon Knowles Awarded Prestigious DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
Congratulations to ECE/ARRC Ph.D. student Jon Knowles on being awarded an FY2023 Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship! The DoD NDSEG Fellowship Program, established in 1989 by direction of Congress and sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research under the direction of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, serves to increase the number of United States citizens receiving doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines of military importance. Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend, healthcare and travel budget, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution. The NDSEG program received 3,080 submissions this year, resulting in only the top 5% of applicants selected for this highly meritorious fellowship.

Jon's proposed research was titled “Multi-sensor Fusion Framework for Enhanced Relative Navigation Accuracy in Cooperative Multi-Agent Networks.” The research goal of the project is to develop an overall mathematical framework for distributed sensor navigation to achieve unprecedented relative position accuracy of mobile radar nodes with and without GPS access. This research will provide critical insights into next-generation inertial navigation system (INS) design, precise relative navigation in non-ideal environments, cooperative flight dynamics, and future distributed sensing modalities. Mr. Knowles is advised by Dr. Jay McDaniel and will continue his Ph.D. studies at the University of Oklahoma.
MMG Team Collaboration with Jet Propulsion Labs to Build 2.8 meter Corner Reflectors in Oklahoma
Several team members within the MMG (Jay McDaniel, Russell Kenney, Rachel Jarvis, and Cora DeFrancesco) spent a week with Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) and the Oklahoma Mesonet team installing nine 2.8 meter corner reflectors throughout Oklahoma in May. These corner reflectors will be used for calibration validation of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission which is set to launch in 2024. The team will install 8 more reflectors this Fall.
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Technologies (TMTT) Paper Accepted - Led by Mr. Jonathan Knowles
Congratulations to Mr. Jon Knowles on his recently accepted IEEE TMTT paper titled "Generalized Theory and Realization of Continuously Loss-Programmable Bandpass Filtering Attenuators." In this paper, a generalized theory of bandpass filtering attenuators (filtenuators) is proposed. A loss-programmable, thirdorder Chebyshev bandpass filtenuator is designed, fabricated, and measured to verify the generalized theory. The filtenuator is designed to operate at 1 GHz and have a tunable attenuation range of 2-10 dB. This proposed filtenuator demonstrates the feasibility of a tunable, low C-SWaP solution to increase radio
frequency system dynamic range and a design process that allows for future development of filtenuators.  Congratulations, Mr. Knowles, on this contribution!
Dr. Jay W. McDaniel received the "Award for Excellence in Research Grants" from the University of Oklahoma for being awarded a single grant worth more than $1 Million dollars at the time of the award.
Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2023
Dr. McDaniel Named 2023 Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships Aerospace and Defense Faculty Fellow
Dr. McDaniel was recently selected as a OVPRP Aerospace and Defense Faculty Fellow at the University of Oklahoma. McDaniel will primarily support research commercialization priorities and innovative defense-focused research efforts coordinated by the OVPRP Director of Strategic Initiatives Drew Allen. Additional duties include working with the OVPRP to help implement the goals, strategies and tactics set forth in the Strategic Research Framework in coordination with the Lead On, University Strategic Plan, as well as liaise with academic colleges and research organizations.
ECE/ARRC Student Cora DeFrancesco Awarded Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Congratulations to ECE/ARRC master’s student Cora DeFrancesco on being awarded and selected into the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)! As the country’s oldest fellowship program of its kind, the GRFP recognizes and directly supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Cora's NSF GRFP proposal was focused on the idea of combining the power of distributed navigation and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging techniques as a translatable technology and testbed for future space-based radio telescope missions. The fundamental research question being asked is “How can a distributed network of several cooperative linked radars be precisely located in a GPS-denied environment to achieve high-resolution space-based imaging?” Cora plans to investigate the feasibility of a system containing a star tracker as an alternative navigational system input, evaluate different estimation filters to combine information from heterogeneous sources, and finally design a cooperative distributed navigation prototype system for a next-generation, space-based Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) concept. A network of cooperative and coherent CubeSat based radars would allow for extremely large baselines (synthetic apertures) with faster revisit times to enable unprecedented image clarity of astronomical objects. Ms. DeFrancesco is a masters student advised by Dr. Jay McDaniel and currently plans to continue her Ph.D. studies at the University of Oklahoma after her masters.
Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) Awards Grant to MMG
The KCNSC has awarded the MMG with a $332k research grant titled "Radar Consortium FY23: The Future of Airborne Radar." This grant will help fund research around using current state-of-the-art fusion methodologies for reduced cost, size, weight, and power (C-SWaP) inertial navigation systems, and the utility of W-band automotive radars for synthetic aperture radar applications.
Dr. McDaniel Selected to Receive the Prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award
The NSF has awarded Dr. McDaniel with a $625k research grant titled "CAREER: UAV-Based Radar Suite for Bulk-Snow Characterization and Risk Management." This CAREER project will encompass both the development of a new UAV-based custom snow-penetrating sensor technology and enable research on snow hydrology and snow-loading on freshwater lakes and river ice. The technological research will produce fine spatiotemporal data using intelligent monitoring capabilities that allow mapping of snow loading and ice thickness on freshwater lakes and rivers through 3D echogram formation and wind redistribution of snow using coherent change detection. These data would support actionable risk management strategies that drastically improve residents’ lives and socioeconomic resiliency. The CAREER project will also incorporate aspects of this research in graduate and undergraduate courses, includes experiential laboratory exercises through design-build projects, and as part of the RISING STudent Ambassador Research (RISING STAR) program will involve Native American and first-generation students to increase diversity and interest in STEM careers
Dr. McDaniel Appointed as Associate Editor of the New IEEE Transactions on Radar Systems (T-RS)
Dr. McDaniel was recently appointed by Dr. Shannon Blunt of the University of Kansas to serve as an associate editor of the new IEEE transactions on radar systems (T-RS) editorial board. The new journal focuses on advances in the study and development of radar systems for a wide range of applications. Articles on theoretical, application-oriented, and experimental studies with an emphasis on novelty in radar systems are considered. A full list of research topics can be found here.
Alex Adkisson awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grant by the University of Oklahoma's Honors College
Congratulations to ECE/ARRC undergraduate researcher Alex Adkisson for being awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant from the University of Oklahoma's Honors College. Students must choose a faculty mentor and submit a budget and a one-page proposal on a research project that they will conduct and present at the Honors College's Undergraduate Research Day. Alex's proposal was around the idea of integrating a real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS solution in the currently existing navigation solution used for SAR imaging to drastically enhance positional accuracy. The concept was fully funded for $961.28 to purchase the RTK GPS and communication modules needed for the experiment. Alex is an undergraduate research assistant under Dr. Jay McDaniel, who will serve as the faculty mentor for this UROP. Congratulations, Alex, on this outstanding accomplishment!
Office of Naval Research (ONR) Awards Grant to MMG
The ONR has awarded the MMG with a $725k research grant titled "Fusion-Based State Estimation for Localization and Synchronization of Distributed Radar Sensor Networks." This grant will help fund research around using current state-of-the-art fusion methodologies and novel estimation techniques to synchronize and localize moving radar sensors. Thus, this effort will investigate the fundamental mathematics, algorithm development, and system-of-systems architecture needed for distributed, mobile radar system synchronization, localization, and navigation with and without artificial signals.
IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (TIM) Paper Accepted - Led by Ms. Rachel Jarvis
Congratulations to Ms. Rachel Jarvis on her recently accepted IEEE TIM paper titled "Application of Adaptive Pulse Compression in Cluttered Radar Cross Section Measurements." This article discusses a post-processing method, based on the reiterative minimum mean-squared-error (RMMSE) adaptive pulse compression (APC) algorithm, to achieve highly accurate radar cross section (RCS) measurements in challenging test environments. To validate the concept, the RCS of a 15.2 cm sphere is extracted in two measurement configurations (with and without a large nearby dominating scatterer). Implementation of APC in post-processing yields a 71.2% improvement in average RCS error compared to traditional processing in the sphere-only measurement and an 88.2% improvement in the presence of a metal plate.  Congratulations, Ms. Jarvis, on this seminal contribution!
Dr. Brian Sun Graduates with Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering
Congratulations to Dr. Brian Sun for graduating with a doctoral degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Sun's Ph.D. research was focused on the theory, simulation, and instrumentation of a novel multi-inertial measurement unit fusion concept to achieve highly accurate position estimation with unprecedented reductions in cost, size, weight, and power (C-SWaP). Brian's instrumented system achieved a three-orders-of-magnitude reduction in C-SWaP and has been flown with synthetic aperture radar systems to provide the navigation data needed for highly-focused SAR images. Dr. Sun's work has been published in IEEE and was recently awarded an international patent. Brian will be joining the Advanced Radar Research Center as a research engineer.
Mr. Eric Wells Graduates with M.S. in Electrical Engineering
Congratulations to Mr. Eric Wells for graduating with a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Eric was tasked with designing and implementing a suspended integrated strip-line (SISL) architecture using castellated vias to enable surface-mountability of the SISL structure. Eric was able to accomplish the task at hand and validate the theory and simulation with measurements of a thru-line through C-band and a frequency-agile S-band bandpass filter. Eric will be joining Northrop Grumman as an RF design engineer after graduation.
Mr. Jon Knowles Graduates with M.S. in Electrical Engineering
Congratulations to Mr. Jon Knowles for graduating with a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Jon was tasked with theorizing, simulating, fabricating, and measuring a novel component which he calls the filtering attenuator (filtenuator). This is a reduced cost, size, weight, and power (C-SWaP) microwave component for highly-integrated front-ends that can improve dynamic range while simultaneously filtering out nearby jamming signals. Jon will be continuing his education at the University of Oklahoma as a Ph.D. student in the MMG and ARRC.
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Mr. Kurt Konyalioglu Graduates with M.S. in Electrical Engineering
Congratulations to Mr. Kurt Konyalioglu for graduating with a master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Kurt was tasked with integrating a Ku-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system for airborne vertical-SAR measurements. Kurt worked with the OU flight school and took airborne V-SAR measurements and correlated them with digital elevation maps using geospatial measurements provided by the onboard inertial navigation system. Kurt will be joining the Advanced Radar Research Center as a radar engineer after graduation.
Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) Awards Grant to MMG
The KCNSC has awarded the MMG with a $320k research grant titled "The Future of Airborne Radar (FY22): Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging, Frequency-Agile Electronics, Distributed Radar Sensor Networks, and IMU Fusion for Position, Navigation, and Timing."
IEEE Access Paper Accepted - Led by Ms. Rachel Jarvis
Congratulations to Ms. Rachel Jarvis on her recently accepted IEEE Access paper titled "Methodology and Techniques for Highly-Precise Radar Cross Section Measurements at W-Band." In summary, this explores the challenges of radar cross section (RCS) measurements at W-band and proposes several techniques to overcome these challenges to obtain an accurate RCS measurement. The RCS of a 2.54 cm sphere is extracted with only 0.304 dBsm average error across the 80-90 GHz frequency range. Moreover, the average error of a distributed target consisting of four 2.54 cm spheres was extracted with 1.60 dBsm of average error, which was made possible due to precise laser alignment. Congratulations, Ms. Jarvis, on yet another excellent scholarly contribution!

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Congratulations to Mr. Jon Knowles for 3rd Place at the WAMICON Student Paper Competition
Congratulations to ECE/ARRC graduate student Jon Knowles for placing third place in the IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) student paper competition! Jon presented his paper and poster titled "Design of a Symmetric Lumped-Element Bandpass Filtering Attenuator (Filtenuator)." Mr. Knowles was also awarded a plaque and a $500 cash prize from the Advanced Radar Research Center for competing and placing in the top three spots.

Upcoming Events

When: 17 - 18 Apr. 2023
Where: Melbourne, FL
IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conf.
When: 22 - 25 May 2023
Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
International Microwave Symposium
When: 11 - 16 June 2023
Where: San Diego, CA
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