Welcome to my blog, ÆtherCzar. I share the occasional post as a way to promote talks and discuss what I’m up to in a lengthier format than that available on Twitter or Facebook. Often I just aim to relax, unwind, and opine about whatever happens to strike my fancy. The topics frequently revolve around my interest in antennas and electromagnetics, but you’ll also see posts about history, politics, books, science fiction, and other areas of science and technology. There’s lots to do and see here:
- Discover The Hidden Truth, my science fiction techno-thriller.
- Learn about my book, The Art and Science of Ultrawideband Antennas, and purchase a signed copy from the author.
- Purchase UWB antennas.
- Read my blog. Some of my most popular posts are linked in the side bar.
Here are a sampling of my most popular posts.
On Science Fiction, Books, and Writing:
- Are There Only Six Basic Story “Shapes”?
- Table of Contents for Atlas Shrugged
- Chronology of Atlas Shrugged
- Engineer as Hero: The Novels of Robert Byrne
- Rave Review for The Hidden Truth from L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
On Wireless and Electronic Technology Including Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID):
- How Full-Body Scanners Work – and Fail
- X-Ray Backscatter or Millimeter-Wave: Can You Tell the Difference?
- Technical Analysis of X-Ray Backscatter Units’ Performance
- Academic Science and the Origins of Technology
- Who Invented RFID: Industry or Academia?
- Wireless Innovation by Small Businesses
- RTLS: False Starts and Misunderstandings
- RTLS: Adcock’s DF Array
- RTLS: Four Novel Approaches
- RTLS: High Frequency Direction Finding (HF/DF) in WWII and Beyond
- RTLS: The Invention of the Long Range Navigation (LORAN) System
- RTLS Updates: Cell Phone Tracking, WiFi/NFER/UWB RTLS, and RFID
- The Navy Navigation Satellite System – A GPS Precursor
- FCC Terminates UWB Docket-UWB Communications Products Emerging
- LED Bugs: An Easy Craft Project for Children
On Physics, Electromagnetics, and Antennas:
- Faraday’s Secret 1832 Letter Reveals Electromagnetic Waves Prediction
- Dirac’s Big Mistake: What EM Tells Us About QM
- The Biconical Antenna’s Three Inventors
- Birth of an Antenna: From Conception to Production
- The iPhone Antenna’s Space Age Origins
- Is Radiation Divergenceless?
- Remembering John Archibald Wheeler
- Electricity and Magnetism for Kindergarteners
Who Am I? About Hans G. Schantz
I’m an RF scientist with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. My research aims at understanding how it is that bound or reactive electromagnetic energy decouples from a source or an antenna and radiates away. This theory has been helpful in understanding and designing not only antennas, but also near-field wireless systems. I “wrote the book” on The Art and Science of Ultra-wideband Antennas. And I’m an inventor with about forty patents to my credit – mostly antennas or wireless systems, but I was also a co-inventor (with my wife) on a baby bowl. With Bob DePierre, I co-invented Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging. I conceived the idea and Bob reduced it to practice and made it work.
Where Do I Work? About Q-Track
I’m also an entrepreneur. I co-founded The Q-Track Corporation along with some partners, including Bob DePierre and Jerry Gabig. The Q-Track Corporation is the pioneer in Near-Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER®) Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS). Q-Track released the first NFER® RTLS a few years ago. Q-Track products provide precise (40cm rms accurate) location awareness that enhances the safety of nuclear workers. In other installations, Q-Track products let robotic overhead cranes know the location of workers so as to avoid collisions. NFER® RTLS provides “indoor GPS” by providing location awareness to the most difficult industrial settings. Here are some recent articles about Q-Track, if you’d like to learn more:
- “RFID Journal Announces Winners of its Eighth Annual Awards” [Q-Track wins for “Coolest Demo”], RFID Journal, April 10, 2014.
- “Urban Warfighters Train With RTLS,” RFID Journal, January 14, 2014.
- “Q-Track Corporation Wins $1.7 million contract award from Lockheed Martin,” Huntsville Times, December 26, 2013.
- “New Indoor Navigation Technologies Work Where GPS Can’t,” IEEE Spectrum, November 20, 2013
- “Huntsville-based Q-Track working on safety for elderly” The Huntsville Times, September 6, 2012.
- “RFID Helps Halt Collisions Between People and Robots,” RFID Journal, May 25, 2012.
Conventional RTLS vendors take wireless hardware optimized for high-data-rate communications applications and try to apply it to the challenging problem of indoor wireless location. This is true not only of ultra-wideband (UWB) RTLS vendors, but also of RTLS vendors who leverage WiFi, or other 2.4GHz technologies. The bottom line: communications and location are two different applications requiring fundamentally different solutions. Solving the problem of reliable, robust, and inexpensive indoor wireless location means unlocking the indoor GPS market – a commercial opportunity we believe could ultimately be comparable in size to the multi-billion dollar outdoor GPS market.
Q-Track’s founders are veterans of the ultra-wideband (UWB) industry. Having seen first-hand the problems of multipath and blockage that limit the performance of UWB RTLS, we designed NFER® RTLS from the ground up with a physical layer optimized for location, instead of communication. NFER® systems operate at low frequencies (typically around 1MHz) and long wavelengths (typically around 300m). NFER® RTLS operates within about a quarter-wavelength of a transmitter, in the vicinity of the transition point between the near-field and the far-field zones.
It should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the opinions expressed here are mine and are not necessarily those of Q-Track, or its management, shareholders, customers, or partners.
In addition, I’m a husband and father of two sets of twins: girls age eleven and boys age eight. Somehow my stay-at-home wife manages to look after us all and run her own company – Baby Dipper, LLC. She invented (with a small contribution from me) a very clever infant feeding set including the Baby Dipper® bowl. The clever ergonomic design of the Baby Dipper® bowl and spoon feeding set has proven successful for parents feeding babies and for toddlers learning to feed themselves. Recently, the Baby Dipper® bowl has proven effective in helping mobility impaired and developmentally delayed children learn to eat.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. You can help support ÆtherCzar and defray the cost of maintaining this blog by purchasing recommended books or other items. ÆtherCzar receives a modest referral fee on your purchase. No reviews or recommendations are posted at ÆtherCzar in exchange for monetary or other compensation (including free review copies) unless otherwise indicated.
Welcome to my website. I hope you find what I have to say interesting, informative, and occasionally perhaps even thought provoking. Feel free to leave a comment or question below. Or you may send an e-mail to “h.schantz” at the “ieee.org” domain.