KU CReSIS graduate student presents ultra wide-band poster at science symposium in Quebec City

News

By Vicky Diaz-Camacho
Summer 2014

KU CReSIS graduate student presents ultra wide-band poster at science symposium in Quebec City

(ABOVE) The view of Quebec City from Calen Carabajal's hotel window, where he presented at the geoscience symposium. | Credit: Courtesy of Carabajal

This summer, the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society joined the Canadian Remote Sensing Society in Québec City for their 35th annual Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing (CRS) and the 2014 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS). IGARSS is an annual, international symposium that hosts geoscientists and radar engineers for several days of sessions and tutorials.

Calen Carabajal, a second year KU CReSIS graduate student, attended to present on the CReSIS ultra-wideband radar system that deployed in Antarctica last winter.

“As I walked around, I managed to chat with about half a dozen other presenters about their work,” Carabajal said. “I tended to speak with people whose work was radar-related, as that is my area of study.”

His poster was an overview of the radar as a whole and its subsystems, including amplifier modules, which he helped build during early Fall 2013. The poster presentation spanned over 2 hours, and the UWB poster was one of roughly 100 or so total posters presented at the time.

(LEFT) The annual IGARRS event hosts geoscientists and radar engineers for several days of sessions and tutorials. | Credit: Courtesy of Carabajal

Carabajal began his undergraduate academic career at the University of Kansas and continued into graduate school. He said electrical engineering piqued his interest because he was certain he enjoyed sound engineering and acoustics. Today, he studies radio frequency engineering and radar engineering. At work, Carabajal designs and builds radio frequency hardware for CReSIS.

“After my first semester, I realized 'wait a minute... I actually really like this stuff!' Because of KU's history and current developments with remote sensing and radar, alongside the number of professors who work in that area, I found myself interested in working toward this specialty late into my undergrad,” he said.

Carabajal worked with CReSIS in his first semester of graduate school, and two years later, his work on the Center’s systems has caught the attention of the researchers at IGARSS.

“We work hard to make our radars the best we possibly can, so we can provide solid data to the rest of the remote sensing community,” he said. “This was something that attending IGARSS opened my eyes to, firsthand; over the course of my presentation, I was approached by many scientists and researchers who were excited to see what we were up to and hear about the new system.”

Currently, he is on a four-week deployment in Punta Arenas, Chile, operating the same radar he operated on the MCoRDS last spring. This semester, he is operating on a NASA DC-8.

“Through meeting other researchers in person, I realized just how important our final product is everyone,” he said. “[And] CReSIS has provided me with a huge amount of practical experience when it comes to radio frequency hardware. It's given me a great deal of confidence in my abilities -- both hands-on and mental -- to design and build electronics.”