planet earth connected by nodes in a network

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering encompasses a broad range of research and educational interests. It is the policy of the department to involve each faculty member in a balanced combination of research and teaching so as to fully benefit the students. A large number of our faculty has considerable industrial experience, and many maintain active consulting roles to provide current and relevant knowledge to the students in classroom and research settings.

Researchers aim to make it possible for the wireless industry to offer high-speed internet service from satellites directly to smartphones anywhere in the world.

Faculty at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing are leading the development of technology to connect smartphones directly to satellites, enabling high-speed internet access without the use of cell towers and communication bases. The research project is funded by Digital Locations, an innovative satellite communications company.

“This technology is disruptive because it doesn’t exist today,” said Elias Alwan, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the College of Engineering and Computing and principal investigator for the grant. “Our phones do not typically have the capacity to allow for strong wireless links with satellites. We have outlined an idea that could help society overcome this challenge.”

The technology would stand to benefit many. Residents in rural areas could use it to have consistent high-speed internet access. Passengers on a cruise ship could use their phones to make video calls from the open ocean. After a hurricane, the technology could help residents in a city that has suffered damage to its cell towers sustain high-speed communications.

Read more at FIU News.