IMS Plenary Session
“The Mind and Body of Intelligent RF”
Dr. William Chappell, Director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Abstract: Dr. Chappell’s address, “The Mind and Body of Intelligent RF,” will focus on what’s needed in the physical layer (hardware) to keep up with the ambitions for the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and the RF spectrum. He will review the outcomes of the ongoing DARPA challenge, Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), which is exploring the use of intelligent RF to parse a fixed spectrum allocation without a spectrum manager or predetermined rules. The challenge uses radios to explore the intelligence, i.e. a mind, required to autonomously interact. While this is primarily a digital challenge, the outcomes are important for the IMS community in terms of the desired radios that will be needed. The radio front end that dynamically interacts with the physical world, i.e. the body, will be different than today's radios which follow a previously determined script. As one of the DARPA performers in the challenge has put it, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
About the Speaker: Dr. William Chappell is director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). Serving in this position since June 2014, he has focused the office on key thrusts important to national security. These thrusts include ensuring unfettered use of the electromagnetic spectrum, building an alternative business model for acquiring advanced DoD electronics that feature built-in trust, and developing circuit architectures for next-generation machine learning. MTO creates the MEMS, photonic, and electronic components needed to gracefully bridge the divide between the physical world in which we live and the digital realm where our information resides. In 2018, he led the initiation of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative, a 1.5 billion dollar initiative focused on the building blocks of next generation electronics.
Prior to his role as MTO director, Dr. Chappell managed DARPA programs on adaptable radio frequency (RF) systems and low-cost antenna array technologies. These technologies included the development of phase change switches for adaptable RF systems, the "RF FPGA" concept, and fully digital array systems with direct digital sampling at each element.
Before joining DARPA, Dr. Chappell served as a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Purdue University, where he led the Integrated Design of Electromagnetically-Applied Systems (IDEAS) Laboratory and received numerous research and teaching awards. Dr. Chappell’s research focused on high-frequency components, specifically the unique integration of RF and microwave components based on electromagnetic analysis. This research ranged from advanced RF sensors (such as mass spectrometry and radar), advanced packaging, and filter design.
Dr. Chappell received his Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude), Master of Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Electrical Engineering, all from the University of Michigan.