Among the distinguished guests invited to give lectures at UCLA’s 2008-2009 Seminar Series in Electrical Engineering was Dr. Moeness Amin, Director of the College of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Communications (CAC). On November 24, Dr. Amin gave a lecture titled “‘Seeing’ Through Walls: A Signal Processing Perspective,” one of several fall-semester presentations focusing on signals and systems.
Dr. Amin is an internationally recognized expert in through-wall imaging (TWI), a technology that allows one to “see” objects behind obstacles such as walls, doors, and other opaque materials. TWI is a powerful tool for use in rescue missions, behind-the-wall target detection, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The technology of choice is based on the emission and reception of radio frequency (RF). However, factors such as wall thickness, the existence of doors and windows, and clutter objects in a building can affect observations.
In his address to faculty and students, Dr. Amin discussed the challenges of achieving reliable indoor imaging of targets. These challenges include stationary and moving targets, and localization and positioning techniques for animate and inanimate objects. “The complexities of the problem have to be delineated so that people understand what is involved in devising credible solutions,” Dr. Amin said.
The talk was only one aspect of the CAC Director’s first-time, daylong visit to UCLA, during which he spent time meeting with engineering faculty and administrators. “Such visits are fruitful because they provide an opportunity to discuss common research interests, emerging areas of research and development, and potential collaborative proposals,” Dr. Amin said.
Established in 1990, the CAC has positioned itself at the forefront of urban sensing and TWI technology. In addition to Villanova University, the following institutions had speakers participate in the fall: University of Athens, University of Maryland, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Washington, Northwestern University, MIT, and Princeton University.