Thursday, June 27, 2013

CST interviews Dr Prashanth Kumar, University of New Mexico

(Courtesy of Prashanth Kumar, Univesity of New Mexico)
Dr Prashanth Kumar, working in a team from the University of New Mexico, won the CST University Publication Award in 2011 for work on an inhomogeneous lens for delivering electromagnetic pulses into living tissue effectively. (A prototype of the device is shown to the right).

As part of our series of interviews promoting university research, we asked Prashanth a few questions about his work.

CST: Hello Prashanth, we’re glad you could take the time to speak to us. The paper which won the award was on a lens for bioelectric applications. What was the major difference between the inhomogeneous lens and previous similar lenses?

Kumar: As far as I know, no similar lenses have been used for the particular application in question. The need for a lens arises due to the use of an antenna to remotely, and non-invasively, deliver the pulse to the target, which is human skin. The focusing lens reduces the impedance mismatch between the surrounding dielectric media (typically air) and biological target , so that maximum energy is delivered from the pulse into the skin.

CST: How did you use EM simulation in the development of the device?

Kumar: CST was extensively used to aid the design and optimization of the Prolate-Spheroidal Impulse Radiating Antenna (PSIRA) and launching lens system. Due to the complex nature of the problem, we could only carry out a simplified theoretical analysis. CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® allows for a more complete understanding of the problem. CST products were used to design and optimize the lens to launch the high-voltage pulses from the antenna (launching lens). This was extremely useful for us, as it allowed quick exploration of the effects of changing several parameters at once without having to build and test the entire system.

CST: So, how is work on the lens going, and what will the next stage be?

Kumar: Currently, some work on the lens is ongoing at the Old Dominion University where the PSIRA and lens system have been adopted for target detection (See “Target Detection with Impulse Radiating Antenna”). An experimental realization is planned, followed by clinical trials, though there is no timeline.

CST: How has the award, and the upgraded license that comes with it, helped you and your group in carrying out research?

Kumar: The award was very useful in increasing the visibility and recognition of our work from the community and our peers. The upgraded license helped in continuing the design of the launching lens, as mentioned before.

CST: Is there any other research using EM simulation you’re involved in that you would like to highlight?

Kumar: Yes, we are also using CST to investigate the use of a Switched Oscillator (SwO) as a terahertz radiator, which would have applications in communication.

CST: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, and best of luck with the Switch Oscillator research!

For more information about the lens, please see the notes of Dr. Carl E. Baum.

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