The wide spectrum of expertise requires a good base of specialist equipment and the Centre boasts of a number of specialist laboratories with international reputations.
Communications Laboratory (CL): this is where much of the research carried out by the Multimedia Communications and Signal Processing Group takes place. Research work includes: network simulations, channel coding, video compression, video transmission, etc.
Physical Layer Laboratory (PHYlab). This is the home to: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing, data cable design and analysis and antenna system design. It shares vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers and other basic test equipment with the rest of the Centre but houses a 5 x 3 x 2.3 m reverberation chamber, a parallel plate transmission line and a host of equipment for electromagnetic and communications channel testing to various standards. The PHYlab is increasingly contributing to International Standards in these areas.
The Device Thermography and Microwave Laboratory (DTML) houses a state-of-the-art Quantum Focus infra-red (IR) microscope, with its capability extended by proprietary IR micro-sensor technology. Research and commercial work is undertaken in thermal mapping of all types of electronic devices (MEMS, MMIC, PHOTONIC, DISRETE etc) including devices for high reliability satellite applications. Current research includes ‘Novel thermal management of power electronic devices: high power high frequency planar Gunn diodes’ in collaboration with Universities of Glasgow, Bristol and Aberdeen. Microwave design and characterisation work is also undertaken to THz frequencies. The Laboratory was recently a co-recipient of an award to acknowledge the high quality of its work in satellite communications.
The Power Electronics Laboratory (PEL) has a focus on the electrical management of renewable and small scale power generation systems, particularly photo-voltaics, it is becoming a popular destination for PhD students from outside the UK wishing to contribute to knowledge in the area and also take the knowledge back to their own countries for wider benefit.