The Michigan Engineer News Center

Matthew Belz receives NDSEG Fellowship to improve the safety of autonomous systems

PhD student Matthew Belz will work to develop jamming-resistant radar systems for autonomous vehicles.| Short Read
EnlargeMatthew Belz
IMAGE:  Matthew Belz.

PhD student Matthew Belz received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship for a new research project to create a jamming-resistant radar chip to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

“Right now, there aren’t many autonomous vehicles, but eventually we think we are going to become more prevalent” Belz says. “If everybody has the same kind of radar signal, they can accidentally jam each other, or bad actors might try to intentionally jam these signals.”

Belz will begin this project in the fall. He’s currently finishing a project joint with the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab to design a specialized circuit that will reduce needed power and improve the phasemeter used in satellite detection of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves – the result of two black holes orbiting or colliding with each other – were predicted by Einstein, but were first detected in 2016.

Belz works in the Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory, and he is advised by Prof. Mike Flynn. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University.

“I had a really good experience at Ohio State, but wanted to see a different perspective,” Belz says.“I wanted to be somewhere that could match the collaborative culture at Ohio State where everyone is helping each other, and that’s what I found at Michigan.”

Matthew Belz
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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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