A Comprehensive, Yet Readable Introduction to UWB

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AetherCzar is grateful to Dr. Kai Siwiak for his comment provoking guest post on ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. In thanks for his contribution, we’d like to draw our readers’ attention to Kai’s excellent introductory UWB technology text (by way of a review originally posted at Amazon.com).

Kai Siwiak and Debra McKeown’s Ultra-wideband Radio Technology offers a very readable and easy to understand introduction to UWB technology accesible to technologists, technical writers, and business people who may not have a deep background in RF or communications theory. At the same time, the book covers all the essentials needed by RF engineers and other specialists who may be bringing their expertise to bear on UWB for the first time. It’s a difficult act to walk the tightrope between a book accessible to a general audience and a book useful to technical readers, but this collaboration between an accomplished Florida based RF engineer and a talented Kenyan (now Nashville-based) teacher presents a well balanced composition with considerable style and grace.

The book presents a comprehensive overview of UWB, beginning with history, continuing through regulations and standards, presenting a simple overview of radiation and propagation, looking at reception of signals, covering system limits and capacity, and ending up with a good overview of applications. Appendices present excerpts from the FCC First Report and Order, the multipath model from 802.15.3a, additional technical details on free space transmission of pulses, and finally a glossary of acronyms and constants.

I particularly liked the clever illustrations that brought an entertaining third world verve to what has traditionally been a western reserve. Look out for the “Delay Spread” and the “UWB Mask.”

Overall this is an outstanding technical reference (easily accessible even by lay people) with the rare merit of being both entertaining and amusing as well. Of course, if you’re more interested in UWB antennas in particular rather than UWB technology in general, there may be better ways to spend your money. 🙂

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