Company Founder and President

Dr. Frank Palmer is Founder and President of E-field Communications Inc.


Dr. Palmer graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Combined Honours B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics. He obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Western Ontario with thesis topics related to characterization of high-latitude radiowave propagation (sporadic-E, meteor-burst and auroral scatter) phenomena.

After graduation, he joined the Communications Research Centre (CRC, Ottawa) and was directly involved in a variety of R&D programs including:

o                    VLF/HF studies of the ionosphere using data from the Alouette/ISIS series of satellites to determine transmitting antenna performance in an ionized atmosphere.

o                    Modelling the performance of mobile VHF/UHF earth-space communications links to assess the impact of interference between them and terrestrial systems.

o                    Assessing the ability of space-borne SHF synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems to properly image ground targets in high-latitude environments.

o                    Modelling the radio noise environment of the SARSAT Search and Rescue satellite system to determine system performance in the presence of man-made, thermal and direct/reflected solar noise.

o                    Design and implementation of long-term VHF/UHF communications experiments in the Great Lakes areas. This program used monitoring data from 25 TV broadcast stations to provide correction factors to the FCC R-6602 prediction curves for the purpose of better defining Canada/US trans-border co-ordination distances.

o                    Design and implementation of VHF/UHF communications experiments in the High Arctic (Inuvik, Resolute Bay and Alert) to provide empirical path-loss models for VHF/UHF systems operating in these areas.

o                    Development of computer-based VHF/UHF propagation models. The widely-used CRC VHF/UHF propagation model 'PREDICT' was originated by him and subsequently further developed under his direction.

o                    Definition and construction of the first large-scale Canadian digital topographic databases for use with the propagation models, later extended to cover most of southern Canada.

o                    Analysis of the capabilities and limitations of the satellite tracking subsystem of the Prince Albert Satellite Ground Station.

o                    Canadian representative to NASA for the planning of the US Space Shuttle Atmospheric, Magnetospheric and Plasmas in Space (AMPS) payload which centred on determining the behaviour of satellite-borne antenna systems.

Subsequently, he joined the Electronic Warfare Division of Defence Research Establishment Ottawa (EWD/DREO) as Head/Communications Electronic Warfare Section. Here, he was responsible for the definition and implementation of R&D programs directed to applying state-of-the-art Conventional RF, Wideband Digital and Optical Processing techniques to the interception, location, and analysis of a variety of communications signal types including:

o                    Conventional Fixed-Frequency

o                    Frequency-Agile and Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum

o                    TDMA, CDMA and hybrid systems

Later, as Director of the Electronic Warfare Division, he was responsible for:

o                    Evaluation of customer requirements

o                    Planning and implementation of relevant R&D programs in both the Radar and Communications aspects of Electronic Warfare systems and

o                    Development of strategies for technology transfer to industry.

He has been the Canadian representative to many national and international technical groups including:

o                    The Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Panel of the NATO Advisory Group on Aerospace Research & Development (AGARD)

o                    The Franco-Canadian Accord on Communications Electronic Warfare

o                    The Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP) Subgroup Q (Electronic Warfare) Panel on state-of-the-art intercept and direction-finding systems.

and has contributed to TTCP Panels on:

o                    Earth-Space Communications and Infra-Red Surveillance Technology.

Upon leaving DREO to establish E-field Communications Inc., Dr. Palmer was also appointed Adjunct Research Professor at the Carleton University Department of Electronics where he presented a graduate electrical engineering course on Electromagnetic Wave Propagation until his move to the West Coast. This course emphasized practical rather than deeply theoretical techniques for estimating Terrestrial, Skywave and Earth-Space system performance. He was entirely responsible for developing the notes to accompany this course.

To support his university research interests, he engaged in collaborative work with DREO in the field of sampled-aperture direction-finding systems.

He is a member of the IEEE AP-S, has been an Amateur Radio Operator (VE7FHP, formerly VE3GET) for many years, and is quite familiar with the differences between simulation/modelling predictions and 'real-world' facts.