Laboratory Experiments on 5G Cellular Technologies - A Case Study on the Synergy of Research and Experiential Learning
Teaching and research complement each other. This is an advice often given to young professors, to encourage them to find synergy between research and teaching, i.e., to let research aid teaching, and vice-versa. When a professor develops new laboratory experiments for undergraduate courses in wireless communications, he/she may find it difficult to replicate research experiments, because they require expensive equipment, usually available in “research, non-teaching” laboratories. In this paper, we present a wireless laboratory that is used for both research and teaching. We show how the research on fifth generation (5G) cellular networks - including millimeter wave transmission, ultra-wideband wireless communications, and multiple-input-single-output (MISO) antennas – helped develop laboratory experiments for undergraduate engineering students. The experiments not only teach students about 5G technologies, but also how to use real-time spectrum analyzers, vector signal generators, arbitrary waveform generators, and signal analyzers, which will help their engineering and/or research careers.