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Impulse Radio is another name for one particular flavor of UWB - or Ultra Wideband - a technology that is really hitting the big time! This technology uses extremely short pulses (.1 to 1.5 Nanoseconds) and very low average power in the milliwatt range. Ultra Wideband Radiation has been defined as any radiation in which the 3db bandwidth is at least 25% or greater of its center frequency. This waveform can be used to transport information by time modulation of the transmitted signal. By modulating the signal in time, it is possible to represent a digital "one" with a pulse that arrives earlier than expected, or a digital "zero" with a pulse that arrives later than expected. Impulse radio/UWB promises simplicity, low cost, low power consumption, and superior multipath rejection, making it suitable for a broad range of communications, positioning, and radar imaging applications.

Impulse radio hit the NY Times on December 21, 1998 (you will have to use their FREE online registration script to read this article). Also, the US FCC in ET Docket No. 98-153 issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on May 10, 2000 concerning this new technology -- and final rulemaking was issued in April 2002. For more information on the rulemaking, and on the heated standards battle surrounding this entire area, see our UWB News page. Briefly, there has been a huge fight over whether the impulse-based direct sequence style UWB or a multiband approach will be the one who wins out. The standards fight ended in a draw, and the marketplace will sort out the winner.

One of the first companies to exploit this technology was Zircon Corp. -- they contacted SSS Online some years ago to evaluate the latest work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on this stuff. There are other players in this area right now, including Pulse-Link, Motorola, and Freescale Semiconductor (see resource links below). Our own managing company, Pegasus Technologies, is also involved in a very interesting impulse-based UWB project presently.

This page is intended to help you learn more about this exciting technology and search some of the related articles, resources and links on the Internet!

Related Topics:

SSS Online's UWB News Page
full information on what's moving and shaking in Ultrawideband!

SSS Online's UWB Resources Page
MORE info and links -- tutorials, key players, and more!

SSS Online's Technical Briefings Archive

SSS Online's / Virginia Tech MPRG GLOMO Briefings Archive

SSS Online's .pdf File Archive

UWB/Impulse Information Links:

Micropower Impulse Radar Home Page. MIR is a low power UWB technology developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, that can be used for sensing and measuring distances to objects in proximity to each other. Commercial applications include vehicle/traffic applications, security applications, search and rescue, and appliances such as studfinders and laser tape measures.

Micropower Impulse Radar (MIR)
glossy brochure from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Overview of UWB Impulse Radio, seminar presentation 3/17/04 by Dr. Jay Padgett, Telcordia Technologies

Impulse Radio Page from Mitsubishi Electronics Research Lab -- research areas, papers, and contacts

"A Low-Cost Time Hopping Impulse Radio System for High Data Rate Transmission" An October 2003 Mitsubishi Electronics Research Lab paper by Andreas F. Molisch et al

Air Link, a Dutch 2002-2004 project, "Ad-hoc Impulse Radio:Local Instantaneous Networks". CESP's great UWB/Impulse Radio page -- links, research reports, brief history, etc.

USC'a UltRa Lab Home Page

USC's UltRa Lab Conference papers

USC's UltRa Lab journal papers

USC's Ultrawideband Radio Laboratory -- Experiments and data

Impulse Radio, 1997 article by Robert A. Scholtz and Moe Z. Win, USC

Time-Shift-Keyed Equicorrelated Signal Sets for Impulse Radio M-ary Modulation, by Fernando Ramirez Mireles and Robert A. Scholtz, 1998

Impulse Radio: How it Works, by Robert A. Scholtz and Moe Z. Win, published in IEEE Communications Letters, February 1998

All-Digital Impulse Radio for Multi-Resilient Multi-User Communications over Frequency-Selective Multipath Channels, by Christophe J. Le Martret and Georgiios B. Giannakis, University of Minnesota, June 2000.

Block Spreading Codes for Impulse Radio: Multiple Access through ISI Channels , by Liuquing Yang and Giorgios B. Yiannakis, University of Minnesota, February 2002.

Pseudo-Chaotic Time Hopping for UWB Impulse Radio, by Gian Mario Maggio, Nikolai Rulkov and Lucca Reggiani, published in IEEE Transactions in Circuits and Systems, December 2001

On the Power Spectral Density of Time Hopping Impulse Radio, by Jac Romme and Lorenzo Piazzo, UWBST 2002 paper, Baltimore, May 2002

USC Professor R. A. Scholtz' Home page

Chaotic Impulse Radio: A Novel Chaotic Secure Communication System
Article in the 2000 issue of the International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos,by TAO YANG and LEON O. CHUA, University of California, Berkeley. The abstract is free, but you have to subscribe or buy the full article.

Impulse Radio Resources:


They bought out Time Domain Corporation, one of the early leaders in this field.


Freescale Semiconductor

Multispectral Solutions, Inc.
Working on Ultra-Wideband products for over 15 years now.


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