July 2021


Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, site of the 1996 Olympic bombing. You are never far from a Coca-Cola billboard, a Chick-Fil-A or Waffle House...

Here's some photos from the 2021 International Microwave Symposium live event in Atlanta. "Hotlanta" did not live up to its despised nickname, the weather was nice due to cloud cover, with some occasional light rain. Looking back at the 2020 virtual conference, the virtual exhibits were pretty much dead, so we looked forward to the 2021 exhibits, and so did 2000 other people. Note that 2000 attendees represent an 80% drop since 2019 in Boston. Funny thing, some of the most generous sponsors did not send booths: Analog Devices, Qorvo, and Keysight were all no-shows. Big defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman held back on sending anyone to the conference.  If not for so many dead albatrosses hanging around corporate necks (Pratt and Whitney, Collins, 737 Max), 2020 was a year of record profits for the world's arms suppliers, so it's not like they couldn't muster the travel budget.

Entrance to the Exhibits

Someday, hopefully we will all have to explain to future generations why we had "safety reminders" in 2021, as pandemics would be a thing of the past.  The chaperones at the entrance of the exhibit and the IEEE desk people kindly reminded us to wear face coverings. However, once inside the exhibits, the majority of the people took off their masks.

Here is our humble Microwaves101 booth. Some Allen-head (hex-key)  screws got loose on our banner, so we had to duct-tape it to the top pole.  If anyone noticed, they said nothing about it. Who travels with a set of Allen wrenches?

We gave away notepads with Cartesian axes in bold, so you can plot real and imaginary thoughts in four quadrants.

Wait, what's this? Two new stuffed animals were available and joined the Microwaves101 Zoo. Can you name the five companies or organizations affiliated with these little guys? The first person to send us a correct answer will win a sweet $100 check! One is already labelled, and there is a hint on this page to help identify another.  If no one wins, we reserve the right to spend the gift money on gummy bears...


Ordinarily, there is carpet in covering the aisles between booths, so you don't have to walk and stand on bare concrete. Either it was a safety concern (carpet could collect Covid germs?) or maybe the conference had to save a few bucks.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes with foam padding next year, in case this becomes a habit!

Here's a blurry image of the plenary talks.  Yes, they were not well attended. On the plus side was that there was way more alcoholic beverages than the small goup could drink, in the reception that followed.


Next year the conference will be in Denver, possibly where there are a lot of goats.  See you there!

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