Electronic Communications Laboratory
The Electronic Communications Laboratory (ECL) was established in 1943 to conduct research for the national defense and has received funding continuously since then from the Department of Defense, including Army Research Laboratory and its predecessors, the National Bureau of Standards, and the Harry Diamond Laboratories. The ECL contract funding from the Army is believed to be the oldest continuously funded university partnership in the Department of Defense history.
The ECL has a tradition of producing relevant research results that have been incorporated into developmental and operational Army systems. From the Second World War to the War on Terror, the ECL has played a role in national defense. Research and development for the radar proximity fuze was considered one of the three most important scientific developments of World War II. ECL research contributions to the development of the proximity fuze earned a Navy Ordinance Award in 1946.
Previous ECL research includes analysis of the Patriot missile fuze radar, automatic target recognition techniques for synthetic aperture and real-beam millimeter wave radar, design of advanced Electronic Counter Measure-resistant radar fuzing systems, computer emulation of real aperture stationary target radar, and the design and analysis of ultra-wideband radar systems for foliage and ground penetration applications.
Recently ECL efforts include research and development of small, low power radar systems for unattended ground surveillance and other applications that require multiple target autonomous detection, tracking, and classification. Example ECL research systems resulting from such work include the Compact Radar, Robotics Radar, and the Noise Correlation Radar. Work also continues on advanced proximity fuzing sensors that provide improved performance, capability, and resistance. Most research utilizes ECL designed prototype and demonstration hardware using commercial DSPs and FPGAs, as well as ECL algorithms and signal processing firmware. ECL analysis includes distributed target modeling and simulation using parallel processing capabilities of NVidia CUDA GPU supercomputers using the ECL-developed GaterRayed software toolset. Additional projects involve research with MIMO radar systems.
Laboratory facilities include numerous radar development and testing platforms, target simulation infrastructure, anechoic chambers, system and circuit prototyping resources, and a considerable complement of test equipment and computer analysis workstations.