Victory over a Virus Part III

Victory over a Virus


by Jaime Leger


The COVID-19 coronavirus brings disease where it is spread, with such signs as coughing, sneezing, and fatigue for those who contract the virus. It is a health threat to be taken very seriously and has resulted in the shutting down of many public gatherings, such as sporting events. But with the dedicated efforts of health-care professionals and government officials, a vaccine will be developed, and this deadly virus will be controlled. In its own ways, the RF/microwave community is learning to overcome the effects of “social Isolation” brought about by the corona virus by applying some of its own technologies, such as wireless communications, for virtual meetings and conferences.


The industry has new opportunities to think about. Terms like 5G and millimeter waves, and drones are energizing the RF/microwave industry. 5G, the Fifth Generation of cellular wireless communications, has emerged almost suddenly to become the “next big thing” in wireless communications. Yes, there is a “need for speed” compared to the previous generation, 4G LTE wireless networks, but there is also a need for bandwidth and capacity—4G simply ran out of room for all the subscribers and their data, and Internet access, and streaming video, not to mention voice calls. 5G will get its high data rates from the bandwidth available at millimeter-wave frequencies, but only because of this industry. It will happen because companies in this industry are making possible wireless communications above 24 GHz (as well as below).


Wireless communications have helped in the global battle against the coronavirus, allowing health-care professionals to receive instant updates, and 5G will be a major boost to the speed and capacity of cellular wireless networks. But that’s just one potential spot for millimeter-wave signals. Millimeter-wave signals are in the safety systems of EVERY new car, whether for collision warning, keeping in lanes, or parking assistance. And millimeter-wave signals are being used more and more for radar and surveillance in drones, whether commercial, industrial, military, even for farming. This is a year for the RF/microwave, PCB, and electronics industry to be excited about opportunities, and my biz blog will be there to keep you, the reader, up to date on the latest technologies in materials, components, systems, and testing them, and the opportunities for them. I will try to keep you informed, and I thank you for visiting this week.  Stay positive, rely on one another, be safe at home or wherever work puts you –  and maybe with a little bit a luck, and a lot of science we will all see each other in person again very soon.


“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”