November 29, 2010

Improving Solar-Energy Systems

As a student wooed by Carleton while living several thousand kilometres away in Iran, Mohammadreza Ataei already knows a thing or two about efficient communications.

Ataei was completing a master’s thesis on cognitive radio at The Isfahan University of Technology when he began to look abroad for PhD opportunities.

In the case of Carleton, the offer he got was rather lucrative – a $60,000 President’s Doctoral Fellowship. It was a prime reason to come here, Ataei says.

“One of my biggest concerns was the prestigious fellowship, and that I can work in practical cases with local companies,” he says.

“Also, because Carleton is in the capital city of Canada, it is a good place to live.”

Ataei and his research supervisor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, professor Amir Banihashemi, will spend at least the next four years working together on distributed wireless communication networks for solar-energy systems.

Banihashemi and Ataei are looking for more efficient algorithms which will save money and time.

The research they are doing aims to make solar systems more efficient and robust through improving the way that receivers and transmitters operate.

In more advanced distributed communications, multiple terminals work together to perform a specific task, like managing the energy output on a particular area of the solar system.

Since the engineering behind the communications is complicated, Banihashemi and Ataei are looking for more efficient algorithms to do the same work – which will save money and time.

“My research over the past few years focused on communications; really, my field of expertise is digital and wireless communications,” Banihashemi says.

“This is a communications system: a distributed one with co-operation of different terminals. So this wireless system is one example of my core research.”

The research has received support from Thales and from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and would eventually lead to a collaboration with Carleton’sDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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