Electrical engineering graduate student Max Hushahn ‘20, found his passion project, TiREM, over the Summer of 2018. The project is a collaboration among Loyola Marymount University graduate students, industry professionals from Aerospace Corporation and KXLU, LMU’s on-campus radio station.
The goal of the project was to discern the quality of long distance signals ranging throughout the surrounding LA area. Hushahn worked closely with LMU faculty and four engineers from Aerospace Corporation to meet the project goal. Hushahn was tasked with developing a mobile, in-car system capable of capturing LMU’s 88.9 FM radio signal at different geographical locations. He also collaborated with another student on the implementation and validation of the TiREM radio-propagation model.
Hushahn used a laptop, GPS unit, antenna, spectrum analyzer and a vehicle to test the signals, logging the power of the signal and location through the data-acquisition system. The research team then drove throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas to collect field measurements, which are available at intemnets.lmu.build/tirem/.
The measurements confirmed expectations: the error in predicting the coverage of KXLU within Los Angeles and its surroundings was close to the error reported in the scientific literature. The next step for Hushahn and his faculty mentor is to identify the sources of error and decrease it.
The TiREM project gave Hushahn the opportunity to learn about radio-frequency modeling and programming the mathematical models using Python. The new skills he acquired working on this project opened doors to programming on very different applications such as Amazon Alexa.