The Quest for Ultimate Electromagnetics using Spatial Transformations (QUEST)

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science

Abstract

From Marconi's first transatlantic wireless transmission through Sir Henry Tizard's radar to modern cellular communications, the rapid advance of applied electromagnetics during the 20th century has changed our world. Now, in the 21st century, a new revolution in exploiting electromagnetism (EM) is emerging; one that brings together two recent developments: spatial transformations and the design and fabrication of novel electromagnetic materials. The idea of spatial transformations (ST) is to provide entirely fresh solutions to the distribution of the spatial arrangement of materials so as to enable new ways to manipulate the emission, propagation and absorption of EM radiation. This goes far beyond what can be accomplished with traditional materials in the form of lenses and mirrors, requiring both conventional materials and also those with properties that do not exist in nature (i.e., metamaterials). ST are at the heart of exciting ideas such as invisibility cloaking and optical illusion. To make the required exotic materials in large quantities, modern fabrication techniques will be needed, including the use of nano-composites and graded-index coatings. The material palette can be further widened by the inclusion of active metamaterials and superconducting dielectric composites. As an example of the type of application one may envisage, there is an increasing demand for wireless communications anywhere and at any time. However, many environments such as offices and crowded shopping centres contain obstacles and scatterers that lead to signals being 'confused'. Signals either reach places they ideally should not, or worse, are not accessible where they are required. Current methods try to deal with these problems by additional signal processing of the received signals, but this can only be seen as an interim fix. A more resilient solution would be to modify the local EM environment so as to ensure quality reception at any given location by, for example, making certain obstacles or scatterers 'invisible'. Materials and devices based upon the concept of STs offer the exciting prospect of warping electromagnetic space so as to overcome problems due to obstacles and scatterers. Such applications are at the heart of the QUEST project. We will build and demonstrate several devices in collaboration with defence, aerospace and communication stakeholders in the areas of healthcare, security, energy and the digital economy. QUEST solutions will place the UK in a leading position in this exciting area, pushing the conceptual boundaries whilst at the same time exploring the practical problems of design and manufacturability.The Programme Grant will bring together a new grouping of leading UK experimentalists and theorists from physics, materials science and electronic engineering to work together on the exciting opportunities and challenges emerging in the area of spatial transformations (STs) and electromagnetism (EM). The potential of the underlying ST approaches however have much wider applicability than cloaking alone, in arguably more important applications that span communications, energy transfer, sensors and security. However, theory and concepts are outstripping practical demonstration and testing, leading to a mismatch in what may be theorised and computed and what can be realised for impact in society and commerce. We contend that the timing is now ideal for UK theorists, modellers, manufacturers and engineers to work together to maintain the UK strength in this field, with a clear focus on the reduction to practice and demonstration of potentially radical new concepts and devices.

Planned Impact

There is now widespread agreement that the UK economy would benefit from a re-balancing towards high-technology manufacturing so as to be more resilient to downturns in the financial markets. This project is designed to contribute to this goal by developing new and improved applications for utilising the electromagnetic spectrum, from the radio communication and radar industries in the lower frequency spectrum in the shorter timescales, to the optical communication and optical device industries at higher frequencies in the long term. Research into electromagnetics already supports some of the most successful companies in the UK economy (e.g. BAE Systems and QinetiQ). The application of radio alone contributes in excess of 13 billion to UK GDP and supports more than 400,000 jobs; the mobile communications sector directly employs around 164,000 people in the UK . Indeed, the UK telecommunications industry, an industry totally based on the ability to control the propagation of electromagnetic waves through a medium, had a turnover of 50.4 billion (three times as much as the UK's electricity, gas and water supply industries combined in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA)). A recent report estimated that the continued adoption and exploitation of electromagnetics would generate 35 billion of GVA to the UK economy over the next five to seven years. The concept of spatial transformations has an important part to play in the future growth of these industries. For example, spatial transformations will find application to drastically improve spectrum efficiency and signal quality for mobile radio communication, especially in electromagnetically complex and dense environments such as modern cities, by providing be-spoke antennae that are conformal and sympathetic to the local environment. In another application, airport communications can be electromagnetically masked (to be invisible ) in certain directions in order to render the link between an airplane and the control tower more secure. Spatial transformations also provide an opportunity to optimise the performance of thin, broadband absorbers for communication and radar application, to enhance the efficiency and range of wireless electricity technologies, to correct for spherical aberration in lenses, and to improve the performance of solar-cells by wider bandwidth anti-reflection coatings. Liaison with beneficiaries and dissemination will be spearheaded by the Investigators in collaboration with the Management Board (MB) and the Advisory Board (AB) and Industrial Steering Group (ISG). Both AB and ISG is a special interest group consisting of leading academics and representatives of all industrial partners associated with QUEST, with representation from leading users and manufacturers of electromagnetc devices including dstl, QinetiQ, BAE Systems, NPL and Cobham/ERA. In all these application areas, we will heighten public understanding. We will also publish details of the project on our web sites and jointly contribute to press releases and publications released by our respective press offices. We will encourage the investigators to engage with the public and the stakeholder by having interviews, round table discussion and exhibition in science festivals in order to raise the status of the field in the UK and encourage the generation of a significant number of young scientists with the skills to carry forward and diversify the myriad economic and social opportunities promised by spatial transformations.
 
Description The Quest for Ultimate Electromagnetics using Spatial Transformations (QUEST) is one of the flagship Programme Grants of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK. Attracting funding of £4.5million over five years, this multi-disciplinary collaboration is led by Queen Mary, University of London, in conjunction with the University of Oxford and the University of Exeter. This ambitious project, beginning in July 2011, brings together theoretical and experimental physics, and electrical and materials engineering, and aims to introduce a paradigm shift in the manipulation of electromagnetic fields through the development and application of new theory, the creation of innovative computer-aided design tools, and the manufacture and characterisation of novel devices and systems enabled by the production of radically new materials.

This Programme Grant, number EP/I034548/1, will address some of the exciting opportunities and challenges emerging in the area of spatial transformations (STs) and electromagnetism (EM). Recent UK-led breakthroughs in the theory of STs, such as the possibilities concerning cloaking and invisibility, have caught both the scientific and popular imagination, and have stimulated a huge growth in related research around the world. The potential of the underlying ST approaches, however, have much wider applicability than cloaking alone, in arguably more important applications that span communications, energy transfer, sensors and security. However, theory and concepts are outstripping practical demonstration and testing, leading to a mismatch in what may be theorised and computed and what can be realised for impact in society and commerce. We aim to address these issues over the course of the project.
Exploitation Route Professor Hao and his team's work has been recognised both nationally and internationally through his books and highly cited papers published in leading journals. These research results have been taken up by industry in the UK and overseas. His research collaborated with BAE has led to a successful patent and the Chairman's Silver Award. A UK based start-up company is being set up with the first round of VC funding up to $45M to commercialise the technology for satellite communications.

Another example of Prof Hao's expertise directly supporting knowledge transfer to industry include a Dstl contract (£2M, 2017-2020) with Plextek on the project "Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface". Its impact is very broader and significant, since in more general terms several indigenous next generation high performance military assets will depend upon the talent and technology developed in metamaterials and their application to antennas and other sensors to improve functional design trade-offs between for example aerodynamic and electromagnetic performance. It includes the next generation fast jet - TEMPEST - announced in the summer at the Farnborough Airshow in 2018. It is estimated that at least £3bn of MOD investment will be linked to the development of these assets over the next 10 years. Prof Hao's work has led to the formation of a UK Metamaterials Leadership Group by InnovateUK in December 2018, and recently exploited by Dstl in developing a new project with our "5-eyes" allies (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA) to advance the integration of high performing configurable antennas into vehicles. Critically, this concept has inspired the UK government to commence more urgently debate about preparedness for exploiting an impending tipping point in the rate of discovery of next generation materials both with MOD Head Office and nationally with EPSRC as a potential "big idea" in relation to UK Industrial Strategy.

Furthermore, Prof Hao's work has made and continues to create societal impacts on antenna engineering at the national and international levels; nationally in respect of building awareness and support amongst senior officials in military commands and in MOD Head Office, including the incoming MOD Chief Scientific Advisor; internationally, his work has directly contributed to showcasing UK strengths through his research outputs and participation in workshops to enable the UK to be invited to participate in collaborative projects with key allies - including America, Australia and France and latterly in exploratory discussions with Israel in May 2019, where Prof Hao gave the opening talk "Novel Antennas and Electromagnetics from Materials By Design". These would not have been achieved without Prof Hao as a champion and ambassador on the behalf of UK government.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Healthcare

URL http://www.quest-spatial-transformation.org/
 
Description This breakthrough could revolutionise the design of aircraft, ships, radios and satellite dishes - potentially any product which uses an antenna. Using a concept known as transformation optics combined with this new artificially engineered composite material known as a metamaterial, the electromagnetic properties of a curved lens have been emulated in a flat panel whilst retaining the same broadband performance. The new composite metamaterials flat antenna lens could be embedded into the skin of an aircraft without compromising aerodynamic performance, representing a major leap forward from current airborne antennas. BAE Systems is the first company to successfully create a functional composite metamaterial designed using transformational optics which allows a flat lens to perform like a traditional curved lens without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Transformation optics is a concept which allows for control of light or electromagnetic radiation in novel ways. Metamaterials can do things beyond the reach of natural materials and are of significant interest to the scientific community. Whilst traditional metamaterials only operate over narrow frequencies when used in antennas, the new composite material has a greatly extended bandwidth performance. When both transformational optics and the composite materials are applied to antenna design, they have the potential to greatly enhance performance and bandwidth without the need for large dished reflectors or curved lenses. Over the past year, there have been notable developments at the heart of QUEST INNOVATION to realise new commercial, defence or security advantage: • To convene and drive interdisciplinary teams across electrical engineering, physics and materials science to expand the degrees of freedom in electromagnetic material engineering, to enable breakthroughs aligned with global societal and commercial market needs across many sectors; • To instantiate these opportunities towards application and into the supply chain through proof of concept demonstration, the formation of significant industry partnerships, and the formation of a rapidly growing spin-out company. In 2018-19, Isotropic Systems attracted $14m investment funding from BoeingX Horizons and a matched funding totaling $45m from various sources including BEIS, UK. The ongoing development includes new job creation, design teams of 35 engineers (80% of whom are PhD qualified with specialisms in telecoms and transformation optics) based in Reading, UK and a further 10 employees in Baltimore, USA. The Company's development, founded on the scientific principles pioneered by QUEST, has led to significant UK job creation, alignment to Academia, direct foreign investment and significant export revenue potential combined with a robust supply chain for international markets for the future generation of satellite communications. Notably, in 2019, Isotropic Systems has won many awards including the prestigious 'New Product Innovation Award' from global market research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan for its work on next-generation satellite terminals that will enable ubiquitous high bandwidth satellite connectivity for a fraction of the cost of other technologies. The significance and value of this new antenna technology is illustrated by: • The commercial adoption of a new satellite antenna technology inspired by transformation optics. • It is low cost and compact, opening up applications to providing internet services in developing countries, particularly in remote locations. • It has no moving parts, making it suitable for space and aviation applications. • ISL has now attracted $14m investment funding from Boeing HorizonX and a matched funding totalling $45m from various sources including BEIS, UK. • The ongoing technology and product development includes new job creation as demonstrated by a design team of 38 engineers (50% of whom are PhD qualified with specialisms in telecoms and transformation optics) based in Reading, UK. • ISL has recently expanded to open an additional 20,000 sq. ft. technology and testing facility within Reading • As a result of ISL's progress, we are fully funded to create an organization with 150 highly skilled engineering business roles in the UK, which includes plans for a fully automated, high value manufacturing plant in Northern England. The reach of the new antenna includes a wide range of existing and emerging HTS operators investing in next generation broadband or mobility service platforms. This is evidenced by commercial agreements with SES Networks, Inmarsat, OneWeb, VT iDirect, Neda Telecommunications, Avanti Communications, Quika, and others totalling over $15m. ISL has also entered a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with QinetiQ for manufacturing and production of the transformation optics-inspired devices. Notably, Isotropic has won many awards including the prestigious 'New Product Innovation Award' from global market research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan for its work on next-generation satellite terminals that will enable ubiquitous high-bandwidth satellite connectivity for a fraction of the cost of other technologies. For over three years, Queen Mary's Professor Hao served as a key board member to Isotropic Systems during its most critical and formative years. The work at Exeter has led to two NATEP projects, (i) http://www.natep.org.uk/project-compositesComposite Baseplates for Aerospace Applications with Cobham, and (ii) High functionality, low cost, small composite antennas with Leonardo. The work has also led to the new funding from EPSRC through engineering challenge funds "SyMeta" which both QMUL and Exeter are partners and the CDT in Metamaterials (including £2M of external studentship support).
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description A State of the Art Review of Smart Materials: A Review of Metamaterials in the UK
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
Impact This KTN report looks at metamaterials in applications involving the manipulation of magnetic radiation. This technology was developed in the defence and security field but there are potential commercial opportunities. It includes case studies highlighting interest from the communications industry, as metamaterials can improve the performance of antennae, for example.
URL https://connect.innovateuk.org/documents/2854053/3676905/A%20Review%20of%20Metamaterials%20in%20the%...
 
Description EPSRC ICT Strategic Advisory Team Member
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Yang Hao has given advice to EPSRC, BIS and Dstl.
URL https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/ourportfolio/themes/ict/strategy/sat/
 
Description Election to Adcom Member and Chair of Publication Committee, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The members of these committees spend a tremendous amount of effort in activities that may not be particularly glamorous but are absolutely critical to the technical advancement of our field.
URL https://www.ieeeaps.org/103-current-committee-members/strategic-planning/454-strategic-planning
 
Description IET reacts to Industrial Strategy White Paper
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Dear Yang Thank you for joining us at the Pillar 8 Industrial Strategy workshop on Cultivating World Leading Sectors in March. All of your comments were fed back into the report, which has now been completed and is available to download here: http://www.theiet.org/policy/ind-strat/ind-strat.cfm?type=pdf The IET will be continuing its work in this area, and we are currently supporting the Government commissioned Review of Industrial Digitalisation led by Juergen Maier, UK CEO of Siemens, as part of the process of developing an Industrial Strategy for the UK. An important part of this review is to understand the barriers that prevent investment/adoption of digital technology. Uptake in the UK is too low and the Government wants to understand why that is and more importantly what policies should be considered to improve investment and increase UK productivity. It is an opportunity for you to directly influence Government industrial policy as it applies to Digital technology in Industry and as such I very much hope that you will invest 10 minutes to make your voice heard. Please use the link to complete the survey: http://industrialdigitalisation.org.uk/your-voice/ Please do let me know if you have any questions. Kind regards Hannah Hannah Conway Project Coordinator The Institution of Engineering and Technology T: +44 (0)1438 767266 M: +44 (0)7725 207925
URL https://www.theiet.org/policy/media/press-releases/Industrial_strategy_white_paper_2017.cfm
 
Description International Advisory Committee members for CominLab, France
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Advise on wireless communications for healthcare applications.
URL http://www.cominlabs.ueb.eu/governance
 
Description Machine learning and manufacturing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The Royal Society is currently carrying out a project on machine learning, which is considering the potential of this technology, and the challenges that come with it.
URL http://blogs.royalsociety.org/in-verba/2016/08/09/machine-learning-and-manufacturing/
 
Description Member of Management Board for the SPF (Strategic Priority Fund): AI for Science and Government Programme at the Alan Turing Institute.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Providing expert advice to the Institute on the development and management of world- leading research and enterprise activities for strategic funding allocation.
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI)
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description Adaptive Tools for Electromagnetics and Materials Modelling to Bridge the Gap between Design and Manufacturing (AOTOMAT)
Amount £935,611 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P005578/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description Dstl PhD studentship on software defined materials
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2019 
End 07/2022
 
Description Frequency Agile Antennas
Amount £270,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 05/2018
 
Description Frequency Agile Antennas
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 09/2022
 
Description HARNet - (Harmonised Antennas, Radios, and Networks)
Amount £6,431,159 (GBP)
Funding ID 113029 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2013 
End 12/2015
 
Description Multi-functional sensor designs based on graphene
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 09/2020
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGENTIC WAVES (ANIMATE)
Amount £1,631,777 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R035393/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2022
 
Description SYnthesizing 3D METAmaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications (SYMETA)
Amount £4,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N010493/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2021
 
Description TERAhertz high power LINKS using photonic devices, tube amplifiers and Smart antennas (TERALINKS)
Amount € 1,000,000 (EUR)
Funding ID EP/P016421/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2018
 
Description THz Antenna Fabrication and Measurement Facilities (TERRA)
Amount £1,232,783 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S010009/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 11/2021
 
Description The Royal Society: Electrically Small Antennas loaded with Metamaterials for Body-centric Wireless Communications
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2017
 
Title AOTOMAT design tools based on transformation optics, optimization and AI/ML design 
Description AOTOMAT has created a new standard in embedded conformal antenna and electromagnetic designs and synthesis, offering engineers an unmatched combination of flexible design capabilities, concise and accessible information and exportable simulation models compatible with all major commercial EM software packages. Engineers will be able to select from a collection of proprietary pre-optimised antennas designs in order to minimise the risk of exceeding budget and time constraints at early stages of the design process. Custom design capability will be an added feature with the numerical modelling hosted on a cloud-computing platform, where a network of remote servers will be used to distribute, exchange and optimise the customised designs. Modelling of ferroelectric-dielectric composites by knowledge and data fusion, powered by inherent natures of learning abilities of humans and machines. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact not yet 
 
Description AGC Contract on Optical Transparent Antennas for future wireless communications 
Organisation AGC Chemicals Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution 3D printed antennas have been co-developed with AGC for future communications in driverless automotives
Collaborator Contribution AGC has been providing system requirements, system integration and demonstration.
Impact A patent application is being prepared and a potential spinout will come out of this collaboration
Start Year 2020
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Plextek
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Adaptive Communications Transmission Interface (ACTI) 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Previous work will have elucidated the requirements of the beam-steering antenna for this application and (probably) the shortcomings (e.g. SWAP) of the COTS products we have hitherto used. This work aims to solve these problems by employing novel antenna techniques. The fundamental electromagnetics problem is to create steerable directional beams from a compact antenna package. This is challenging because the frequency of operation is such that the antenna structure is not large in terms of wavelengths. Compromises in bandwidth and aperture efficiency conventionally are needed to reduce size as well as a reduction in directivity. The research programme will investigate novel methods that have the potential to break this rigid paradigm.
Collaborator Contribution Provide financial and technical support on the project. Determine performance of candidate antenna/control/stack hybrids.
Impact The project has just started and more research outcomes will be reported in the next submission. This is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving researchers from communities in communications, wireless network, RF & Microwave Devices and antennas.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Antenna Design Studies 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution 1. Antenna A design studies and test of prototypes; 2. Antenna B-design studies and test of prototypes; 3. Device A-superscatter design studies and test of prototypes
Collaborator Contribution QinetiQ-provision of design guidelines at start of project-provision of prototypes for testing 3 months after initial design, noting requirement to optimise
Impact N/A
Start Year 2021
 
Description Applications of high impedance surface and other materials or methods in antenna designs for mobile devices at millimeter frequencies with an aim to reduce EM exposure to human body 
Organisation Huawei Technologies
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Description of the Project To develop flexible and compact HIS for millimeter wave frequencies and 5G. The HIS device is expected to operate freely, without degrading antenna performance. SAR reduction must be demonstrated for mobile applications. The prototype device will be made with innovative fabrication tools including 3D printing and graphene ink etc. The Work Plan Specified below: ? Stage 1: Oct.1 2018 ~ Oct.1 2019 Design and manufacture HIS antennas for future mobile devices ? Stage 2: Oct.1 2019 ~ Oct.1 2020 Demonstration of novel design approaches for HIS design including the use of characteristic mode theory and optimisation techniques ? Stage 3: Oct.1 2020 ~ Oct.1 2021 Testing, verification and integration of the proposed design with mobile devices, initially within controlled environments (i.e., lab based) and ultimately with different test subjects and within different locations and environments (e.g., indoor, outdoors). Develop guidelines for: the specific absorption rate (SAR), the minimum transceiver power requirements needed to transfer collected information to a nearby mobile device The Deliverables of every stage include the reports, papers or thesis on the research work, which must pass the review by the Industrial supervisor team led by Dr. Hanyang Wang.
Collaborator Contribution PhD studentship contributions
Impact PhD recruitment is still ongoing
Start Year 2019
 
Description Compact Rotman Lens for 5G base station antennas 
Organisation Huawei Technologies Sweden AB
Country Sweden 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A Rotman lens based compact beamforming system has been proposed for some time in terms of developing cost-effective beam-steering antennas. Original designs are often frequency-dependent and they are bulky for RF frequencies, which are targeted, for example, current generations of mobile communication. Conventional techniques for Rotman lens size reduction often result in increased fabrication costs and reduced antenna performance such as beam-scanning. In this proposal, we present two techniques for the miniaturisation of Rotman lens without degrading major antenna radiation performance. The new design is based on several techniques developed at Queen Mary University of London, including artificial dielectrics, metamaterials, transformation optics and advanced manufacturing. We anticipate that all proposed solutions are cost effective and can be scalable based on low cost substrate materials such as FR-4 for industrial applications.
Collaborator Contribution Huawei is funding a PDRA for 6 months for a feasibility study.
Impact The project is still ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description HARNet - (Harmonised Antennas, Radios, and Networks) 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales UK Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution My research group has contributed several novel antenna technologies, namely non-foster's electrically small antennas, beam-steering transmit antennas based on liquid crystals.
Collaborator Contribution The HARNet programme develops the radio techniques and technologies required to develop an Integrated Modular Communications System (IMC) using software defined radio technology for the next generation of civil aircraft. It will replace the current system of isolated federated radios systems. The consortium that will execute the programme is led by Thales, with Cobham as a key collaborating partner, aided and supported by the research of the University of Bradford, the University of Southampton, and Queen Mary College, London. The project is split into two phases of two and four years respectively, running sequentially starting on 1 August 2013. The specific areas of technology development are novel antenna solutions, mesh networking, radio frequency power amplifiers, radio frequency to digital baseband transceivers, I/Q radio bus interconnection, and reconfigurable software defined radio baseband waveform processors. A comprehensive automatic testing environment is being developed for cost effective testing and certification of a future IMC system. The programme is partly funded by the Aeronautical Growth Partnership, a £2bn programme of investment in the UK aeronautics industry by HM Government over a time span of seven years, managed by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Technology Strategy Board.
Impact In HARNet, QMUL is responsible for conducting basic research on non-Foster's electrically small antennas and beam steering antennas, both for SATCOM applications. The partnership between Cobham and QMUL has been strengthened and new working relationship among other HARNet institutions has been established. This is particularly important for QMUL, as we are able to transfer our existing knowledge to the industry, and hence to maximise the impact of our research; meanwhile, we have learned new challenges from our partners and thus it helps us to define future research directions. In the context of HARNet, we will focus on the development of novel metamaterial antennas and smart materials for beam steering applications. The technology of developing Non-Foster's electrically small antennas is relatively mature, limitations and benefits of using Non-Foster's circuits have been made clearly. Several demonstrators have been made, antenna performance has been fully characterised through numerical simulations as well as experimental demonstrations. QMUL is known for developing several robust techniques to stabilize active circuits and the analysis of system noise performance. QMUL has also developed theoretical understanding of fundamental limits for non-foster's active antennas and its comparison with the classic Chu-Harrington's limit has been developed. QMUL has also conducted a critical review of technologies for SATCOM antennas with beam-scanning capabilities. A transmit-array design has been down-selected based on the use of liquid crystals. A demonstrator has been made and the liquid crystal has been applied to a unit cell element for agile phase-control of proposed transmit-arrays. The work has led to the AF Harvey Research Prize won by Professor Yang Hao at QMUL, and it will allow him and the team to further their research in developing novel and smart materials for future antenna technologies including STACOM antennas. HARNET was particularly important for QMUL, as we are able to transfer our existing knowledge to the industry, and hence to maximise the impact of our research; meanwhile, we have learned new challenges from our partners and thus it helps us to define future research directions. QMUL and Cobham has long-term collaborations and the relationship which was further strengthened through HARNet. QMUL had a collaboration with Thales, France and will anticipate that a new EDA project was funded in 2016.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Luneburg lens for passive radar enhancement 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The lens reflector is a sphere in shape, usually composed of concentric dielectric shells. By the proper selection of dielectric constants for each shell, radar energy incident on one of the faces of the lens is focused at a point on the rear surface of the lens. The rear conductive surface reflects radar energy back to the source. The physical characteristic of a Luneburg lens varies according to its application and the frequency at which it is required to operate. To meet a variety of weapon system requirements, QinetiQ Target Systems integrates a variety of lens types into its targets. Generally these are of 7.5 inches in diameter, but alternative sizes from 4 inches to 8.7 inches in diameter are available. QMUL has been able to use TO techniques developed from QUEST and compressed the lens into compact and flat devices, which enable seamless integration with airplane frame, such as wings.
Collaborator Contribution Qinetiq provides funding, technical specifications and fabrication facilities to support this partnership.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2022
 
Description Metamaterial Inspired Microwave Conformal Radar Antenna (MIMiCRA) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials that have been altered to exhibit properties not found in nature. Research and development of metamaterials is a rapidly growing field, which could eventually result in a huge range of new applications for both the civilian and military domains. An important area of research is concerned with new antennas for applications, such as communications, EW (Electronic Warfare), or even multifunctional sensing. This purpose behind the MIMCRA project was to show how antennas developed using metamerials can provide significantly higher levels of performance than conventionally developed antennas. The project perfomed a study which established a robust set of requirements for three different types of antennas. These requirements outlined the limitations of current antennas and considered possible applications of new materials and designs, focusing particularly on benefits for aeronautical platforms. Building on this study, demonstrator structures were developed that pushed the boundaries of material design and illustrated how using metamaterials could produce antennas with performance levels significantly greater than those using conventionial design methods and materials. The project was managed and funded by France and the UK, within the framework of the European Defence Agency. The work was carried out by a wide consortium of different companies and universities: Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Thales, Telecom ParisTech, Institut d'Électronique Fondamentale, BAE Systems, MBDA (UK), Queen Mary College London, and Oxford University.
Collaborator Contribution The research performed highlighted the enhancements that these new approaches can bring, however more work is needed before these technologies can produce commercially viable solutions.
Impact Antenna demonstrators have been made and research reports have been produced.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Metamaterial Inspired Microwave Conformal Radar Antenna (MIMiCRA) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials that have been altered to exhibit properties not found in nature. Research and development of metamaterials is a rapidly growing field, which could eventually result in a huge range of new applications for both the civilian and military domains. An important area of research is concerned with new antennas for applications, such as communications, EW (Electronic Warfare), or even multifunctional sensing. This purpose behind the MIMCRA project was to show how antennas developed using metamerials can provide significantly higher levels of performance than conventionally developed antennas. The project perfomed a study which established a robust set of requirements for three different types of antennas. These requirements outlined the limitations of current antennas and considered possible applications of new materials and designs, focusing particularly on benefits for aeronautical platforms. Building on this study, demonstrator structures were developed that pushed the boundaries of material design and illustrated how using metamaterials could produce antennas with performance levels significantly greater than those using conventionial design methods and materials. The project was managed and funded by France and the UK, within the framework of the European Defence Agency. The work was carried out by a wide consortium of different companies and universities: Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Thales, Telecom ParisTech, Institut d'Électronique Fondamentale, BAE Systems, MBDA (UK), Queen Mary College London, and Oxford University.
Collaborator Contribution The research performed highlighted the enhancements that these new approaches can bring, however more work is needed before these technologies can produce commercially viable solutions.
Impact Antenna demonstrators have been made and research reports have been produced.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Metasurface design for HBF antennas 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This study entails the design of a holographic beam forming antenna. Holographic antennas are a type of leaky wave antenna where the feeding surface wave interacts with the radiated plane wave resulting in diffraction at the aperture. The beam shape and direction may be controlled by varying the metasurface impedance profiles, and they have the advantage that they can be thin, relatively easy to manufacture and are easier to integrate within a system due to for example an in-plane feed. Furthermore holographic beam forming overcomes the hardware expense and complexity of a phased array beamforming. The metasurfaces are formed from conductive patches on a dielectric substrate, and a number of designs have been reported in the literature, such as for example at satcom frequencies, cognitive radios and for ultra-wideband applications relating to tracking and wireless comms.
Collaborator Contribution Qinetiq provided antenna fabrication.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multi-bean wide angle repointable antenna 
Organisation Isotropic Systems, Inc.
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Company's development, founded on the scientific principles pioneered by Prof Hao, has led to significant UK job creation, alignment to Academia, direct foreign investment and significant export revenue potential combined with a robust supply chain for international markets for the future generation of satellite communications.
Collaborator Contribution As a result of Isotropic's progress, thanks in part to the board support of Prof Hao as the co-founder and a former member of Board of Directors, the company is fully funded to grow into an organization of about 120 newly created senior engineering roles which includes plans for a fully automated, high value manufacturing plant in Northern England.
Impact In 2018-19, Isotropic Systems attracted $14m investment funding from BoeingX Horizons and a matched funding totaling $45m from various sources including BEIS, UK. The ongoing development includes new job creation, design teams of 35 engineers (80% of whom are PhD qualified with specialisms in telecoms and transformation optics) based in Reading, UK and a further 10 employees in Baltimore, USA. Notably, in 2019, Isotropic Systems has won many awards including the prestigious 'New Product Innovation Award' from global market research and consulting company Frost & Sullivan for its work on next-generation satellite terminals that will enable ubiquitous high bandwidth satellite connectivity for a fraction of the cost of other technologies. Globally, the antenna technology invented by Prof Hao is being adopted by existing and emerging HTS operators investing in next generation broadband or mobility service platforms such as Inmarsat GX, O3b, OneWeb, Intelsat EpicNG, ViaSat, Boeing, and SpaceX, along with standard geosynchronous satellite operators offering mobility services.
Start Year 2015
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES (ANIMATE) 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The ultimate objective of ANIMATE is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation. Specifically, in this project, we will: 1. Establish a holistic approach of software-defined materials for communication, sensing and computation, by building novel integrated and adaptive antenna technologies. 2. Integrate wireless sensor networks into the design of computer interface and control units for tunable materials to demonstrate and validate the wholly new concept of "networked materials" at subwavelength scales. 3. Exploit challenging applications of proposed antenna and material technologies with our core industrial partners at all stages of development: prototyping, manufacturing, toolbox validation, platform integration and testing. 4. Research novel active and tunable materials and investigate fundamental limits of relevant materials to industrial challenges. 5. Develop simulation tools that span from materials, device and process modeling with intricate complexities that open up the design domain significantly and enable the production of optimal structures with improved performance.
Collaborator Contribution Our industrial partners are a vital part of our impact strategy, keeping our focus on what they need for innovative devices and systems to commercialise. We have recently established a strategic collaboration with Dr Sajad Haq (SH) and his team at QinetiQ (QQ), who have committed strong financial support and co-created the ANIMATE project. Other industrial collaborators include Thales UK, Huawei, BAE Systems, Satellite Application Catapult and UK SMEs including Flann Microwaves and Plextek, et al. We have a long history of collaborations with universities (Oxford, Sheffield, Exeter and Loughborough), some of whom (SYMETA) have provided letters of support for this application.
Impact A news release from Qinetiq can be found from https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration As the project just started, there has been no publishable outputs and outcomes.
Start Year 2018
 
Description SOFTWARE DEFINED MATERIALS FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES (ANIMATE) 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales UK Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The ultimate objective of ANIMATE is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation. Specifically, in this project, we will: 1. Establish a holistic approach of software-defined materials for communication, sensing and computation, by building novel integrated and adaptive antenna technologies. 2. Integrate wireless sensor networks into the design of computer interface and control units for tunable materials to demonstrate and validate the wholly new concept of "networked materials" at subwavelength scales. 3. Exploit challenging applications of proposed antenna and material technologies with our core industrial partners at all stages of development: prototyping, manufacturing, toolbox validation, platform integration and testing. 4. Research novel active and tunable materials and investigate fundamental limits of relevant materials to industrial challenges. 5. Develop simulation tools that span from materials, device and process modeling with intricate complexities that open up the design domain significantly and enable the production of optimal structures with improved performance.
Collaborator Contribution Our industrial partners are a vital part of our impact strategy, keeping our focus on what they need for innovative devices and systems to commercialise. We have recently established a strategic collaboration with Dr Sajad Haq (SH) and his team at QinetiQ (QQ), who have committed strong financial support and co-created the ANIMATE project. Other industrial collaborators include Thales UK, Huawei, BAE Systems, Satellite Application Catapult and UK SMEs including Flann Microwaves and Plextek, et al. We have a long history of collaborations with universities (Oxford, Sheffield, Exeter and Loughborough), some of whom (SYMETA) have provided letters of support for this application.
Impact A news release from Qinetiq can be found from https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration As the project just started, there has been no publishable outputs and outcomes.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Software Defined Materials for Antenna Applications 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project is aimed to develop a new paradigm for software defined materials with wireless sensor network at subwavelength scales, in industrial contexts, which can be programmable for current and evolving standards, security requirements and multiple functionalities. It arises from several industrial challenges relevant to the development of future wireless communication, radar and sensor systems, which require frequency agile, broadband and beam-steerable antenna solutions. It is related to topic areas including "materials for antennas" and "novel electromagnetic materials".
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate objective of this PhD project is to remove the traditional boundary between the designs of antennas and RF/microwave electronics as well as materials and devices, so that a generic material platform can be developed that is programmable and flexible for multifunctional applications integrating communication, sensing and computation.
Impact The project is about to start and PhD recruitment is in the process.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Spatial SpANiel Antennas (Spatial Antenna Network Intelligence) 
Organisation Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project supports AOTOMAT, our recent spinout company from QMUL founded by Prof. Yang Hao and Dr Henry Giddens in partnership with Queen Mary Innovation, the technology Transfer Office of QMUL. AOTOMAT uses a suite of proprietary modelling and design tools to develop new electromagnetic devices, materials and systems that are based on recent advances in electromagnetics, atomistic-scale materials, meta-heuristic optimisation and data-driven modelling. The AOTOMAT technology is robust and minimises the cost of design, development and prototyping of complex EM devices. In particular, AOTOMAT technology is focused on designing antennas and EM devices such as lenses which are suitable for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The AOTOMAT design tools utilise a number of methods such as TO and multi-objective constrained optimisation of 3-dimenaional EM devices. Importantly, these are tailored to account for the limitations of differing manufacturing methodologies. Recently, AOTOMAT's technology has been used to generate 3D printed lens designs for car windscreen antennas with mm-wave beam tilting for next generation automotive communications.
Collaborator Contribution AOTOMAT will be subcontracted by QMUL to deliver new designs of various lens antennas that are suitable for 3D printing using their propriety design tools. Any IP that is developed by AOTOMAT in the development of the design tools used in the this work relating specifically to the TO and Electromagnetic Optimisation design process will be retained by the company. All final designs and the details of the design process will be provided in the technical documentation provided during and at the end of the project. The physical antennas and their individual designs will be owned by DSTL.
Impact This project supports AOTOMAT, our recent spinout company from QMUL founded by Prof. Yang Hao and Dr Henry Giddens in partnership with Queen Mary Innovation, the technology Transfer Office of QMUL.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Thales UK 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales Research & Technology (Uk) Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Thales and its partners have been awarded £6.4 million from the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) fund for the HARNet (Harmonised Antennas, Radios and Networks) strategic research programme. Thales and industry partner Cobham will invest an additional £5.2 million into the research. The programme will be aided and supported by the research of the University of Bradford, the University of Southampton, and Queen Mary, University of London. The partnership will develop the radio techniques and technologies required to develop an Integrated Modular Communications (IMC) system for civil aircraft using software defined radio technology. This IMC will help remove capacity constraints, meaning improved operational efficiency and a reduction in fuel burn, noise and CO2 emissions. An IMC would also offer higher reliability, safety and security. OEMs benefit from this approach as less equipment will need to be installed on new aircraft, freeing up critical space, reducing weight and using less power. For the airlines reduced weight means reduced costs.
Collaborator Contribution We have developed novel antenna solutions for Ka/Ku band satellite communications.
Impact Internal reports have been generated.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Transformation Optics Design of Microwave Antennas 
Organisation BAE Systems
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Several practical antennas were designed by the use of transformation optics, and they were fabricated and experimentally demonstrated by BAE and QMUL. This has led to a successful patent application (https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170162944A1/en). Some of relevant research has won him and the team BAE Chariman's Silver Award in 2014.
Collaborator Contribution BAE contributed a cash support of £25K and also the in-kind support by manufacturing antenna prototypes.
Impact This research on transformation optics and metamaterials have led to many tangible benefits for a range of industrial products. One example is lens antenna designs for satellite communications. Prof Hao has been instrumental in establishing a complete supply chain, entailing the electromagnetic modeling, materials design and fabrication, lens structure manufacture and antenna system development. This technology has been fully scoped and is currently commercialised under a $45M startup of Isotropic System Limited. A second example is related to the design of scattering surfaces with tailored properties, which have been developed for security services such as the police. In this instance surface features with requisite characteristics are being designed so that the materials are amenable for large area and low cost manufacture. This has led to a successful patent application (https://patents.google.com/patent/US20170162944A1/en). Some of relevant research has won him and the team BAE Chariman's Silver Award in 2014. The transformative nature of the output from his research has prompted QinetiQ to establish a strategic arrangement of £1M with QMUL to enable it to engage with the university in a more holistic manner and explore future exploitation opportunities widely, with a view to sponsoring R&D and taking product to market.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Wearable antennas 
Organisation Qinetiq
Department QinetiQ (Farnborough)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The aims of the design and optimisation process remain reduction in the size, weight and power requirements associated with the antenna. In the core programme two design, manufacture and test iterations are provided for. Testing at the conclusion of the first phase will involve the antenna, feed and artificial magnetic conductor only. At the conclusion of the second phase, the antenna is to be tested on a human phantom.
Collaborator Contribution QinetiQ will provide data on available dielectric materials-with initial work starting from a value of er=3. It is also desired to operate the antenna conformally on a soldier's body, therefore it must be integrated onto an artificial magnetic conductor. QinetiQ will separately design a suitable surface and provide a model of that surface to QMUL for integration into the overall antenna optimisation process (underway). QinetiQ will also undertake antenna manufacture.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2021
 
Title Far-­-field Transformation for Antenna Applications 
Description We proposed a far-field transformation (FFT) scheme for antenna applications, in which far-field radiation patterns can be manipulated via custom-designed materials for arbitrary feeding structures. It is anticipated that the classic theory of antenna array synthesis can be replaced via a novel approach of far-field transformation. Specifically, the required antenna radiation will be mapped onto the Fresnel Zone, where its spatial relationship with the source field can be established mathematically. We have developed an analytical as well as a numerical technique, which transforms the spatial distribution of fields through custom designed materials. The proposed design tool will find its applications in novel antenna designs, in particularly, those with directive radiation and beam scanning capabilities. 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Patent application has been filed.
 
Title LENS DESIGN METHOD AND RADIATION SOURCE SUBSTRATE 
Description A lens design method is disclosed for designing a lens to reshape an actual far-field radiation pattern of a radiation source, such as a spiral antenna, to a preferred far-field radiation pattern. The method comprises: -determining a preferred far-field radiation pattern of the radiation source; -deriving a corresponding near-field radiation pattern from the preferred far-field radiation pattern; -determining an actual near-field pattern of the radiation source; -mapping an electric field and a magnetic field of the actual near-field radiation pattern to the derived near-field radiation pattern using a transfer relationship, the transfer relationship comprising material parameters which characterise the lens; and, -determining the material parameters. 
IP Reference US2017162944 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed No
Impact 2019-02-05 Application granted 2019-03-03 Application status is Active 2035-03-18 Anticipated expiration
 
Title RADIATION ABSORPTION 
Description A radiation absorber comprising multiple layers has a conducting base layer, and at least first and second further layers, each separated by a dielectric material, the first and second layers having patches thereon of highly conducting material, and defining resonant cavities in cooperation with the dielectric material, wherein the resonant cavities formed on adjacent layers differ in frequency. Characteristics of the patch, such as size or shape may vary on each layer to provide different resonant frequencies, and/or dielectric or magnetic properties of the dielectric material, and/or separation distance of the patches may be varied. In some embodiments, complex dielectrics may have their loss factors adapted to tune a resonant frequency, or to adapt its resonant bandwidth. 
IP Reference WO2013014406 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Commercial in Confidence
 
Title RF ELEMENT 
Description An optically transparent radio frequency or microwave device has first and second optically-transparent conductive substrates. Each carries a respective optically- transparent conductive electrode, and an optically- transparent liquid crystal layer forming a dielectric between the electrodes. The dielectric properties of the liquid crystal layer are controlled by application of a variable bias between the electrodes, to vary a resonant frequency of the device. 
IP Reference WO2011042699 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Related work has been used for Ka/Ku satellite antenna applications.
 
Company Name AOTOMAT LIMITED 
Description AOTOMAT is a recent spinout company from QMUL founded by Prof. Yang Hao and Dr Henry Giddens in partnership with Queen Mary Innovation, the technology Transfer Office of QMUL. AOTOMAT uses a suite of proprietary modelling and design tools to develop new electromagnetic devices, materials and systems that are based on recent advances in electromagnetics, atomistic-scale materials, meta-heuristic optimisation and data-driven modelling. The AOTOMAT technology is robust and minimises the cost of design, development and prototyping of complex EM devices. In particular, AOTOMAT technology is focused on designing antennas and EM devices such as lenses which are suitable for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The AOTOMAT design tools utilise a number of methods such as TO and multi-objective constrained optimisation of 3-dimenaional EM devices. Importantly, these are tailored to account for the limitations of differing manufacturing methodologies. Recently, AOTOMAT's technology has been used to generate 3D printed lens designs for car windscreen antennas with mm-wave beam tilting for next generation automotive communications. 
Year Established 2021 
Impact The company was just set up but we have started to receive the contract from the industrial and government partners.
 
Company Name AOTOMAT LIMITED 
Description AOTOMAT is a recent spinout company from QMUL founded by Prof. Yang Hao and Dr Henry Giddens in partnership with Queen Mary Innovation, the technology Transfer Office of QMUL. AOTOMAT uses a suite of proprietary modelling and design tools to develop new electromagnetic devices, materials and systems that are based on recent advances in electromagnetics, atomistic-scale materials, meta-heuristic optimisation and data-driven modelling. The AOTOMAT technology is robust and minimises the cost of design, development and prototyping of complex EM devices. In particular, AOTOMAT technology is focused on designing antennas and EM devices such as lenses which are suitable for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The AOTOMAT design tools utilise a number of methods such as TO and multi-objective constrained optimisation of 3-dimenaional EM devices. Importantly, these are tailored to account for the limitations of differing manufacturing methodologies. Recently, AOTOMAT's technology has been used to generate 3D printed lens designs for car windscreen antennas with mm-wave beam tilting for next generation automotive communications. 
Year Established 2021 
Impact The company was just set up but we have started to receive the contract from the industrial and government partners.
 
Company Name AOTOMAT LIMITED 
Description AOTOMAT is a recent spinout company from QMUL founded by Prof. Yang Hao and Dr Henry Giddens in partnership with Queen Mary Innovation, the technology Transfer Office of QMUL. AOTOMAT uses a suite of proprietary modelling and design tools to develop new electromagnetic devices, materials and systems that are based on recent advances in electromagnetics, atomistic-scale materials, meta-heuristic optimisation and data-driven modelling. The AOTOMAT technology is robust and minimises the cost of design, development and prototyping of complex EM devices. In particular, AOTOMAT technology is focused on designing antennas and EM devices such as lenses which are suitable for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The AOTOMAT design tools utilise a number of methods such as TO and multi-objective constrained optimisation of 3-dimenaional EM devices. Importantly, these are tailored to account for the limitations of differing manufacturing methodologies. Recently, AOTOMAT's technology has been used to generate 3D printed lens designs for car windscreen antennas with mm-wave beam tilting for next generation automotive communications. 
Year Established 2021 
Impact The company was just set up but we have started to receive the contract from the industrial and government partners.
 
Company Name Isotropic Systems 
Description We approach antenna design around your business case. Our design philosophy focuses on the bandwidth efficiency you need for the long term - as a result of the antenna you own. Our antennas will use surface level materials with virtually no losses. This resulting breakthrough in spectral efficiency using low-cost materials will reduce both capital and operational expenses and allow you to access significantly more customers for the first time. All this, but with an antenna that can be 'shaped' to conform to almost any form factor, offer superior scalability and durability and yet; conform to the key functionality required in terms of side-lobes, tracking fidelity and multi-beam capabilities. 
Year Established 2013 
Impact ISL's antenna will be the first truly 'broadband' low-profile antenna with fully electronic beam steering, easily scalable to effective apertures and can be designed to match almost any desired form factor. Designed for satellite broadcast, VSAT, microwave, multipoint wireless and 5G broadband communications, the antennas are low cost and have no moving parts to adhere to the stability requirements of mobility. ISL will initially focus on broadcast and VSAT applications in the satellite industry, partnering with the world's leading scientists and engineers in the field of antenna design, further refining ISL's scientific discoveries that hold the promise of a new paradigm in antenna performance.
Website http://www.isotropicsystems.com/
 
Description A real-life Harry Potter invisibility cloak could soon be here 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Here comes the science bit folks:

'The underlying theory can be applied to other wave phenomenon including acoustic and heat waves,' said Professor Hao.
Yeah, we don't really know what any of that means but all you really need to know is the invisibility cloak is on its way. Possibly.
Scientist Yang Hao, Professor of Antennas and Electromagnetics at our very own Queen Mary University have also moved a step forward in the real-world quest for invisibility.
Hao's research was published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, demonstrates how a so-called 'surface wave cloak' can make curved surfaces appear flat when they come in contact with electromagnetic waves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://metro.co.uk/2016/07/29/a-real-life-harry-potter-invisibility-cloak-could-soon-be-here-6037684...
 
Description Collaborating with Queen Mary University of London on advanced materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The news release has drawn attentions within the industry/business on a recent funded EPSRC project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration
 
Description Cultivating World Leading Sectors workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Institution of Engineering and Technology, in conjunction with Engineering the Future, the alliance of the 38 professional engineering organisations, is leading a project to respond to the recently announced Government green paper consultation on 'Building our Industrial Strategy'.

The workshop will consider the Industrial Strategy by exploring what a good sector deal looks like, how to go about ensuring the best range of sector deals and understanding how to generate the catalysts needed for the creation of sector deals. We will explore what actions are needed for the government to achieve its goal of implementing a successful Industrial Strategy.

The workshop is chaired by Professor Steve Evans, Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Free Wi-Fi in the air? New antenna promises ultrafast in-flight broadband 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Professor Yang Hao of Queen Mary University is spearheading the project to develop a near-invisible satellite dish that he says "use simple materials that are dramatically cheaper than today's technology" after winning £300,000 from industry body, the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/21/free-wi-fi-in-the-air-new-antenna-promises-ultrafast-...
 
Description IET Seminar on Transformation Optics 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination of QUEST research and discovering similar work by others in the field, informing future work. Getting input from industrial attendees.

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Invited Speaker at Metamaterials Workshop organised by European Defence Agency 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact To address the future impact of metamaterials technologies on defence capabilities, EDA CapTech Materials & Structures organiseed, with the support of the CapTechs Components, Optronics and Radar, the seminar "Metamaterials for defence applications", on 29 September 2015, at
EDA premises. The objective of this seminar is to raise the awareness on the potential of metamaterials for different defence applications and future related challenges. Therefore, the intention is to gather experts in related fields and from different CapTechs to better understand how metamaterials will contribute to defence capabilities and where are the technology gaps to overcome.

To achieve this objective, the seminar gave background information on on-going work at EU level on metamaterials, and specifically in areas of interest for defence. The impact in future capabilities and possible future areas for cooperation has also been discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.innovation.public.lu/fr/agenda/conferences/2015/09/esa-metamaterials/esa-metamaterials.pd...
 
Description Invited speaker at Centre for wireless communications, Belfast, 2021. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact invited speaker
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Isotropic Systems Raises $14 Million in Series A Funding Led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures to Advance Space-Based Connectivity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Yang Hao was the board director until 2018 for Isotropic System Limited. The company is still doing well and recently announced a $14 million Series A round of funding led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures, with participation from WML, Space Angels and Space Capital.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.isotropicsystems.com/news/2019/1/15/isotropic-systems-raises-14-million-in-series-a-fund...
 
Description Keynote Speaker at ACEM, Nanjing, August 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a keynote delivery for research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote Speaker at ACEM, Nanjing, August 2019. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote speech at the international conferences
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote Speaker at ANTEM, Waterloo, Canada, August 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This is a keynote speech on Transformation Optics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote Speaker at IMWS-AMP 2015, Suzhou 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Keynote speech delivered
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.nusri.cn/imws-amp2015/IEEE%20IMWS-AMP%202015%20Final%20Program.pdf
 
Description Keynote Speaker at RINEM, the 26th Italian National Meeting on Electromagnetics, Cagliari, Italy, September 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This is a keynote delivery on transformation optics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote Speaker at Sigma Symposium 2018: "LED there be light", Nijmegen, Netherland, April 17, 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This is a talk at workshop organized by students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote Speaker at iWAT, Florida, USA, March 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This is a keynote speech on our current research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote Speaker at iWAT, Florida, USA, March 2019. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A keynote speech was given on metamaterials and hyperuniform disorder metasurfaces
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://iwat2019.org/conference/sessions
 
Description Machine learning and the UK manufacturing sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This workshop will explore the potential benefits of machine learning in manufacturing, identify barriers to its uptake, and consider ways of addressing those barriers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.royalsociety.org/in-verba/2016/08/09/machine-learning-and-manufacturing/
 
Description NewStatesman "A short history of invisibility cloaks", 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A history of invisibility cloak was introduced.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/technology/2015/09/short-history-invisibility-cloaks
 
Description Next Generation of Antenna Research Secured with £1.2M Grant 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact New contracts and contacts have been made, a joint lab is in process with several companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.iconnect007.com/index.php/article/113055/next-generation-of-antenna-research-secured-with...
 
Description QUEST Project Review and Demonstration Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The final project review meeting with the Advisory board for the QUEST programme grant included live demonstrations of systems and devices developed during QUEST for the first time, allowing the advisory board members (including EPSRC representative) do have a clearer understanding of the devices and potential applications, as well as greater opportunities for discussion of these issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description QUEST Research Open Day October 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Questions and discussion throughout the day, following each presentation. Multiple industrial sectors represented (defence, aerospace, satellite communications, mobile communications, etc.). Multiple feedback forms returned, with useful comments. Intent was to inform the final 18 months of the QUEST programme grant, to ensure industrial engagement and knowledge transfer.

Three industrial delegates from the day invited to augment existing advisory group for QUEST, to help achieve the industrial engagement by widening the application sectors from defence to civil communications, and determining specific demonstrations. Good feedback to inform the presentation of the QUEST story in future events. Multiple requests for further information. Potential for future collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.quest-spatial-transformation.org/news/quest-research-open-day/
 
Description Roadmap on transformation optics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Journal of Optics is publishing a unique 'Roadmap on transformation optics' and, as a leading scientist in this field, we invite you to contribute a short section to this article, perhaps on the theme of Antennas. We leave the topic open to you.

This roadmap will consist of a series of formalised two-page sections representing the individual visions of some of the leading experts highlighting the complex issues in this field. For this reason, please can you provide your provisional title in advance as we have to guarantee the consistency and the absence of redundancy of the overall roadmap article. The full scope of the roadmap and list of topics covered are detailed below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Royal Society International Scientific Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The QUEST-organised Royal Society International Scientific Meeting, "Spatial Transformations: from fundamentals to applications", was held January 26-27 at Chicheley Hall, UK. Topics ranged from cloaking (in opitcs, acoustics and thermodynamics), to antennas, to surfaces waves. Speakers were invited leaders in the field from the UK and around the world, and included Prof. Sir John Pendry, Prof. Nader Engheta, Prof. Martin Wegener, Prof. Ulf Leonhardt, and many more. Delegates included representatives from funding bodies (e.g., research councils, KTNs, DSTL), industry, and academia, including post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. All the talks were extremely interesting, reflecting the state-of-the-art in the field, and the accompanying discussions on the work and future directions even more so, thanks to both the speakers and the delegates. There were also contributions from delegates in the poster sessions. Full details, including audio recordings of the talks and discussions, are available on the Royal Society's event webpage.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://royalsociety.org/events/2015/01/spatial-transformations/
 
Description Scientists get closer to creating real-life invisibility cloak 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Now, scientists in the United Kingdom have moved a step forward in the real-world quest for invisibility. Their research, published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, demonstrates how a so-called "surface wave cloak" can make curved surfaces appear flat when they come in contact with electromagnetic waves.
In other words, the study suggests a way to make such surfaces invisible. How's that for magic?
"The underlying theory can be applied to other wave phenomenon including acoustic and heat waves," said Yang Hao, professor of antennas and electromagnetics at Queen Mary University of London, who led the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/20/health/invisibility-cloaks-research/
 
Description Scientists get closer to creating real-life invisibility cloak 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact (CNN)The world doesn't have a "Harry Potter"-like invisibility cloak quite yet, but various research teams around the world have been making progress in figuring out how to build one.
Creating a cloak that can render a person invisible has been the ongoing dream of materials scientists and Harry Potter fans alike. In the beloved J. K. Rowling storybooks, the young wizard Harry inherited a magical cloak that could make anyone who put it on instantly invisible.

Now, scientists in the United Kingdom have moved a step forward in the real-world quest for invisibility. Their research, published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, demonstrates how a so-called "surface wave cloak" can make curved surfaces appear flat when they come in contact with electromagnetic waves.
In other words, the study suggests a way to make such surfaces invisible. How's that for magic?
"The underlying theory can be applied to other wave phenomenon including acoustic and heat waves," said Yang Hao, professor of antennas and electromagnetics at Queen Mary University of London, who led the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/20/health/invisibility-cloaks-research/index.html
 
Description Transformation Electromagnetics for Antenna Design 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Antennas that receive and transmit radio waves have to be a particular curved shape to focus the electromagnetic waves. Now, however, scientists at BAE Systems and Queen Mary University of London have created a new type of antenna lens that can be flat, or made into whatever shape best suits its end use.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1e6f2b68-bf71-11e3-a4af-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2yo9aEXQK
 
Description • Qinetiq new strategic partnership with Queen Mary University of London is set to deepen and enhance our commitment to investing in partnerships with academia and will drive forward innovation in the field of advanced materials. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact ANIMATE is an advanced materials programme led by Queen Mary University of London under the leadership of Professor Yang Hao. It is funded by industry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. QinetiQ works collaboratively with a range of UK universities on research projects that are funded by the EPSRC.

On this particular project, our involvement will:

Provide the mechanism for transitioning of technology into new products
Help new products to create revenue across the wider UK supply chain
Engage current and future customers from inception of the programme
Provide £300K to fund three PhD studentships in this area

ANIMATE is specifically focusing on synthesising a new class of software-defined smart materials which have properties that can be modified by a software-controlled digital hardware, enabling new functionalities for alternative applications to be added simply by loading or updating new software. In doing this, we will create a generic systems platform that is programmable and flexible for multi-functional applications, enabling integrated communication, sensing and computation. We expect that the first generation products which could be marketed will be in the areas of multi-functional antennas, compressive sensing and imaging.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.qinetiq.com/News/2018/06/Queen-Mary-Collaboration