Michael Hirsch, Ph.D.: RF Systems Expert

Professor Hirsch has developed open and proprietary RF system models and simulations, incorporating them with other models such as geographic clutter and spectrum models to make a “system of models” for relevant scenarios. Michael also worked extensively with hardware, making the theory and simulations come alive with the latest in high-end RF / microwave / mmW hardware.

Michael gives guidance to public agencies from federal to local as well as commercial wireless ventures with regard to complicated designs and licensing negotiations with the FCC and Industrie Canada. Michael provided technical facilitation during sales negotiations of valuable SMR two-way radio spectrum to Nextel in metropolitan border regions, when that spectrum (especially the coveted 863-866 MHz band) was priced at all-time record high levels. Michael works extensively with trunked and conventional radio systems.

Michael has evaluated technical feasibility and business case suitability via critical design review on areas as diverse as:

  • full-stack hardware / software / model rapid prototypes to global RF spectrum standards
  • Cubesat communications systems
  • Statewide wireless networks
  • pedestrian and bike collision anticipation systems
  • outdoor microsecond-synchronized autonomous Arctic optical stations
  • software defined radar systems
  • autonomous navigating space vehicles with local radiolocation network (their own “GPS” in deep space)


I kicked off my engineering research career by building the very first coffee-can/tin-can radar in 2006 with Greg Charvat, a successful entrepreneur, engineer and author. Before that, I worked as a consultant in the wireless industry (cellular and two-way radio), helping yield millions of dollars a year in spectrum trades, licensing and system design/deployment/upgrades. I guided agencies from federal and state law enforcement through county sheriff, fire and EMS as well as commercial entities. I designed and deployed one of the first wide-area commercial carrier WWAN broadband IP networks in the Midwest, with 50x faster speeds than the typical wired home Internet. This system also brought early carrier-grade VoIP systems to cash-strapped local agencies, saving them a bundle vs. hard-wired leased lines.

Those early days of my career included negotiating individual spectrum deals with ISET (formerly Industrie Canada–the Canadian FCC). I had to show modeling work and run coordinated tests on both sides of the border–over 100km away, for government agencies, sometimes getting a helping diplomatic hand from a representative or senator’s office. As an engineer, educator and researcher I see ever more the need to help keep policymakers and their offices informed–I act as a information resource to state and federal offices desiring expert guidance.