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When it feels like the world is on your shoulders

And all of the madness has got you goin’ crazy

It’s time to get out, step out into the street

Where all of the action is right there at your feet.

The 1st IEEE Latin America Microwave Conference (LAMC) took place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from 12th-14th December 2016. The conference served as a premier international forum for engineers and researchers to present their state-of-the-art interdisciplinary R&D activities at the frontiers of radio frequency, guided-wave, and wireless technologies. With an aim to achieve high technical quality and encourage scientific and academic development in Latin American countries, the conference was deemed to be a great success by all concerned.

Fueling growth in Latin America requires an imperative access to affordable technical solutions. The keynote speakers from academia and industry such as Dr. Ke Wu (IEEE MTT-S President) addressed the emerging millimeter-wave Identification, Sensing and Tracking (MIST) technology, the future of Internet of Things where the information and communication systems are invisibly embedded in the environment around us. James C. Rautio (CEO & President of Sonnet Software) conjured up Maxwell’s theories and enlightened the audience by talking about “The Four Maxwellians” and how they kept James C. Maxwell’s legacy. Rautio also discussed his experience as an Amateur Radio Extra licensee and how it helped him start his own company Sonnet Software which was listed on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies. Today, Sonnet Software is a leading vendor of high accuracy 3-D planar high-frequency electromagnetic analysis software.

Minoru Fujishima (Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter, Hiroshima University, Japan) discussed the development of a terahertz (THz) transmitter capable of signal transmission at a per-channel data rate of 10 Gbps over multiple channels at around 300 GHz resulting in aggregated channel data rate above 100 Gbps. Since the transmitter was implemented as a silicon CMOS integrated circuit, it has the great advantage for commercialization and consumer use.

Steven C. Reising (Microwave Systems Laboratory, Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept., Colorado State University, USA) focused on the current research of millimeter-wave to THz systems, a collaborative partnership between Colorado State University, NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Blue Canyon Technologies forging a new 6U CubeSat demonstration mission. The mission is for a future constellation for remote sensing of precipitation entitled Temporal Experiment for Storms and Tropical Systems (TEMPEST). TEMPEST-D is planned to be deployed into orbit via Nanoracks by NASA at the International Space Station in spring of 2018.

There were other posters and special sessions with the focus on research topics such as:

  1. Signal and Power Integrity for Internet Infrastructure
  2. Modern data centers and need for high speed & power
  3. Enabling Information and Communication Technologies for Humanitarian Aid
  4. 3D Additive Manufacturing

Leading companies in microwaves such as Keysight Technologies, National Instruments, Rhode & Schwarz, Intel, Inceleris, ETS-Lindgren, Wurth Electronics, Signal Test, Test Technology, Anritsu, etc., displayed their latest test/measurement equipment and as well their design & simulation software. Industry leaders were very welcoming and willing to answer the technical questions regarding their products.

I know a place where we can dance the whole night away

Underneath the electric stars

Just come with me and we can shake your blues right away

You’ll be doin’ fine once the music starts, oh!

The conference blossomed with the Mexican aura of dance and music. The attendees were welcomed with cultural dance performances and amazing Mexican cuisine. The organizing committee arranged for a Gala Dinner: Rhythms of the Night in the secluded cove of Las Caletas, a mystical place that was only accessible by boat. Keysight Technologies sponsored the cruise which transported every one of us to this magical paradise for a ‘Dining under the Stars’ with enticing aromas of freshly prepared vegetables, grilled steak, and authentic handmade tortillas on a beachside table bathed in the soft glow of candles. After the dinner, the crowd was summoned to the pulsing beat of native drums to an outdoor amphitheater that spectacularly wove the stories of an ancient civilization depicted through live music and modern dance. The mesmerizing experience made all of us so comfortable with each other that we started dancing under the moonlight with Spanish music soothing our ears as the ocean stirred our hearts and gave the eternal joy to our souls.

The General Chair for this year’s conference Jose E. Rayas-Sanchez with his appreciative organizational skills ensured that every personnel at the conference would feel comfortable and understand the purpose of initiating a legacy in Latin America. Jose E. Rayas-Sanchez and Tushar Sharma organized a successful special session on “Enabling Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Humanitarian Aid”. The session was supported by IEEE MTT-S, APS, SIGHT and HAC societies and Internet Society to promote RF Wireless technologies in Latin America.

The experience was very enriching and enlightening as described by many who attended the conference: “Puerto Vallarta is a very beautiful city. LAMC 2016 was an establishment of RF Wireless growth in Latin America. I’m positive about the future of this conference and have high hopes from the next LAMC. We are thankful to Internet Society which came forward and vested their support in IEEE MTTS Humanitarian initiatives in Latin America”

-Tushar Sharma(iRadio Lab, University of Calgary)

Prof. Alessandra Costanzo presented the EU-funded Italian project HABITAT (Home Assistance Based on the Internet of Things for everybody AuTonomy). HABITAT aims to develop and test an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, based on the most innovative wireless technologies, which provides assistive and reconfigurable environments. New types of furniture and new functions conferred to everyday objects, controlled by a natural interface with the user, will give to the home new possibilities of inclusion and socialization, de-hospitalization and home-care. In this framework a 2,45 GHz RFID reader augmented with the monopulse RADAR capabilities is adopted for tracking, with sub-meter accuracy, the activities of elder or disabled people while they are alone at home.

-Prof Alessandra Costanzo (Associate Professor, University of Bologna)

“The motivation of the work ‘Improving the interaction of Down syndrome students using RFID technology’ is based on my personal experience with my daughter, an 11-year-old girl with language and moderate intellectual disabilities. Our family has experienced difficulties and barriers in the society and the education system. These life experiences made possible to understand some problems and found the opportunity to design assistive emerging technologies in benefit to our daughter and throw her to other families in the similar situation. Our system Kitercy (Kit for Literacy) has had a positive impact on our daughter and in the scientific community. Through a publication of our work a young researcher, Tushar Sharma contacts to me for sharing the experience in the conference LAMC 2016. I was impressed with the organization of academic and social activities. I had the opportunity to talk with researchers well known in the microwave area. I enjoyed the beautiful places visited and warmth of Mexican people. The participation in the Humanitarian Technology panel has committed me to work with more passion for humanity with the knowledge acquired in the conference.”

– Janio Lincon Jadán-Guerrero(Ph.D., University of Costa Rica)

“It has been a great experience attending the LAMC in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I think this conference was very well organized and was a huge success. I fully enjoyed the event with several interesting special sessions and discussions on various technical topics, including our IEEE SIGHT/HAC session.”

-Marvin Arias (Professor, National University of Engineering of Nicaragua)

“For the first of the series, LAMC2016 was exceptionally well done. Everything (at least from what I saw) proceeded perfectly, and that is hard to do even when you have the experience of prior conferences. Judging from the completely packed room for my Maxwell talk, interest in Latin America in microwaves is very high. I was also amazed at how the exhibit area had very good foot traffic much of the time, something that I am sure will keep exhibitors coming back time and again. Oh, and that gala dinner was amazing. Of all banquets of all the conferences I have attended, only the EuMW dinner in the Vatican Museum would top it. It was an experience to remember.”  -James C. Rautio (CEO & President Sonnet Software)

It was the beauty of Puerto Vallarta that brought out the best in all of us. We arrived with a motive of attending the conference and learning about current research going on in the industry. We went back with a lot more than that, we made friends as we shared our life stories and we laughed as we basked in the late autumn sun.

To the beat of the rhythm of the night

Dance until the morning light

Forget about the worries on your mind

We can leave them all behind

Look out the street now, the party’s just beginning

The music’s playing, a celebration’s starting……………

Edited By : – Anjali Mann, MTTS Young Professionals