Lumumba "Lu" Harnett received an NSF graduate fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. Harnett completed his undergraduate degree at Hampton University and arrived at KU where he received the KU Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship in Aug. 2014.
His research focuses on the development of new signal processing approaches to separate radar and communication signals that reside in the same frequency band. Increasing crowding in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum has driven much interest in whether simultaneous spectrum sharing can be achieved (e.g. DARPA's recent SSPARC program). Harnett’s approach is to pose the problem as one of interference cancellation to determine to what degree these rather different signals can be disentangled and still perform their intended role -- instead of effectively simply jamming one another. Harnett is working in KU’s world-renowned Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Lab (RSL), which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014 and has a long history of tackling difficult sensing problems.
"Lu is working on a tough problem, but one that has the potential to have a significant impact on how densely we can allow the RF spectrum to become,” said Shannon Blunt, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and Harnett’s Ph.D. advisor. “Right now we really don't know what that practical limit is."