Plenary Talks

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 10:10 AM – 12:00 PM


Automotive Applications for mmWave

Speaker: Jamie Smith, Director of Transportation Research and Design, National Instruments



As the automotive community chases for zeros, zero emissions, zero fatality, and zero traffic congestion, the arrival of autonomous vehicles (AVs) will get us close to the vision of zeros. Cars on the road today are equipped with multiple sensors but each sensor is typically designed to handle a small number of safety task such as Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Automatic Emergency Breaking (AEB) etc. Autonomous Vehicles require more sensors that are used together for perception and planning. 5G V2x technology and new advancements in automotive radar will enable safer vehicles and accelerate the adoption of autonomous vehicles. mmWave technology will also introduce new testing challenges. We will explore the current state of automotive mmWave and how we can accelerate innovation and adoption.



Jamie SmithAs director of global transportation research and design, Smith is responsible for developing product and marketing plans for NI’s automotive customers. Smith and his team are responsible for identifying the customer applications to drive growth around NI’s leading software-defined platform and aligning the global team to execute on the growth strategy. His experience and leadership have been focused on developing and delivering results driven through strategy built on disruptive technology and informed by customer needs. 

Since joining NI in 1996 as an applications engineer, Smith has held key leadership positions in sales, engineering, product strategy, corporate development, and marketing. Smith has helped drive numerous strategic product and operational innovations during his time at NI. Most recently Smith led NI’s embedded systems and Industrial Internet of Things business.

Smith is a thought leader on topics such as the Internet of Things, 5G communications, and autonomous vehicles. is a He has been recognized as Top Embedded Innovator by Embedded Computing Design received an R&D 100 Award and was recognized by the IIC for his Industrial IoT contributions.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in applied physics from Stanford University.


Overview of ESA GaN component development activities and heritage gained through early in-orbit-demonstration

Speaker: A R Barnes, European Space Agency, ECSAT, Harwell, UK



Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a key strategic enabling technology that has the potential to provide an order of magnitude improvement in RF output power, is inherently radiation hard and tolerates higher bus-voltages as well as higher operational temperatures. These characteristics promise to disrupt today’s state of the art design for space affecting Telecommunications, Navigation, Science and Earth Observation missions.

The main challenge for space application has been to combine outstanding GaN performance figures and reliable operation. To address this situation ESA launched its GaN REliability And Technology Transfer initiative (GREAT2) in 2008, with the aim of establishing a European supply chain for the manufacture of high reliability, space compatible, GaN-based microwave transistors and integrated circuits, free from any ITAR or end-user licence restrictions. This talk shall describe the outputs of the reliability improvements achieved, culminating in the first in-orbit demonstration of a GaN X-band telemetry transmitter on PROBA V. Since 2013, this satellite has been used to map land cover and vegetation growth on a daily basis. As a result of this flight heritage demonstration, a decision was made by ESA to develop and qualify European, hermetically packaged, microwave power transistors for use in the Biomass P-band SAR interferometric mission, aimed at quantifying and mapping changes in the global forest carbon cycle. This talk shall also give an overview on the current status of the Biomass solid state power amplifier (SSPA) development.



Andrew BarnesAndrew Barnes worked from 1986-1988 with the Marconi Research Centre as a development engineer for W-band mm-wave components. He then joined the Defence Research Agency focusing on advanced microwave and mm-wave integrated circuit design. From 2001 to 2004 he worked for the QinetiQ group as team leader for microwave circuit design, developing state of art multifunction MMIC components and modules for phased array radar systems. In 2001 he was awarded the Chief Scientist Prize for technical achievement and became a QinetiQ fellow. Since 2005 he has worked at the European Space Agency as a senior technology engineer, where he is in charge of GaN component development. More recently, Andrew has been responsible for establishing and managing the ESA-RAL Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory based at Harwell in the UK. Here, the aim is to assess and pre-screen advanced materials and process developments that have strong potential to be matured for space applications.