Posts tagged: science

Salford ICZs at Work in a Research Partnership with NEC, BT & EE

ICZs in Action BT, EE, NEC

Photograph – Nick Harrison

Telecommunications student Odum Rowani is conducting a leading-edge study of how weather affects mobile networks in partnership with top engineers from NEC, BT and EE.

Odum, who graduated in MSc Data Telecommunications Networks, is researching for his PhD on the effects of variations in global weather conditions on the quality of data transmission for mobile networks.

And he has the perfect test-bed for his work at the University of Salford after telecom giants NEC, BT and EE chose Salford as a research partner to test new 4G evolution and 5G related network technology.

Odum, who is from Nigeria, said: “A challenge for engineers is how to connect the evolved 4G and 5G cell sites back to the operators core network, and one solution is the use of V-band point to point radio systems.”

Much testing is still needed on the optimum deployment and robustness of ‘point-to-point’  transmissions which use radio millimetre wave frequencies in the 60GHz band; particular how they may stand up to the rigours of the British weather.

Using the University of Salford as a base, the NEC, BT and EE have created a research site to measure the performance of the V-band radio system over a 12-month period when exposed to rain, wind, fog and ice.

“This will be one of the most detailed tests of this type done anywhere in the world to date, so we are delighted it will be hosted in Salford with our partners NEC, EE and British Telecom,” explained Professor Nigel Linge, one of Odum’s professors.

“Millimetre wave point-to-point links operate at very high frequencies to transmit high volumes of data over relatively short distances.  However, the high frequency does mean that it is possibly affected by climatic conditions – the question being by how much.”

The University has installed a radio system complete with transceivers and antennas on the Newton Science and Engineering building and the Maxwell Building at its Peel Park Campus and will monitor transmissions until early 2018.

Stephen Walthew, Manager – Transport Networks at NEC Europe, said Salford was a perfect choice for the testing:  “We were looking for an urban area, somewhere the weather is very variable and where there is expertise in network engineering. Given our long-standing relationship with Professor Linge and his colleagues, we are delighted the University of Salford can host the tests.”

“The 60GHz connection has the opportunity to become the solution of choice for high capacity backhauling, so the more scientific evidence we can collect about its performance, the better we can make decisions about design and deployment.”

 


Extinct family of bizarre snail-eating marsupials discovered

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Malleodectes by Peter Schouten

An international team of palaeontologists which includes Dr Robin Beck of the University of Salford, have identified an entirely new family of extinct marsupial mammals from northern Australia. 

The family has been named Malleodectidae, from the word for “hammer” in Latin and “biter” in Ancient Greek, referring to the presence of an enormous premolar that was clearly used for crushing hard food items.

No other mammal currently known has such an unusual crushing premolar, but similar teeth are seen in Australian lizards that feed on snails, suggesting that malleodectids may have had a similar diet.  Malleodectids, which were about the size of ferret, are known only from 10-15 million year old fossils from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in far northern Australia.

Very incomplete malleodectid fossils were described in 2011, but the discovery of a new fossil jawbone has now revealed unique features indicating a previously unknown marsupial family.

The research is published today in the Scientific Reports arm of the journal Nature.

Malleodectids were probably related to living Australian carnivorous marsupials such as quolls, the Tasmanian Devil and the marsupial anteater or numbat, as well as the recently extinct thylacine or Tasmanian tiger. However, malleodectids represent a lineage of marsupials that has been distinct since at least 23 million years ago.

 

 

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No kidding – prosthetics expert helps man live as goat

goats

Thomas Thwaites with the goats in the Swiss Alps

A Salford University prosthetics expert enabled a man to follow his dream of living as a goat. 

Conceptual designer Thomas Thwaites was so intrigued by the animals he devised an experiment to spend several days studying their behaviour up close by living as part of a herd on the Swiss Alps last year.

Thomas’s research, carried out thanks to an arts award from the Wellcome Trust, saw him transform himself into one the animals, and even attempt to communicate with them.

And to make his experience all the more realistic, he enlisted the help of Dr Glyn Heath from the University’s School of Health Sciences, who he asked to help make him a set of special goat-like artificial limbs enabling him to roam around on all fours and closely mimic the animals’ movements.

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Manchester Science Festival 2015

Still plenty of events to get involved in at Manchester Science Festival!

Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October, 10am – 4pm – Free entry
Salford Science Jam

Science Jam will see our MediaCityUK campus transformed into a massive open doors science experiment, bringing together demos, debates, art/science premieres and Oculus Rift virtual reality experiences.

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