Measuring systems for the communication technology of the future DFG Research Group "Metrology for THz Communications" extended
In information technology, data transmission rates are constantly increasing because the need for fast wireless data communication is also growing rapidly. To make speeds of 100 gigabits per second and higher technically possible, a new approach is needed in communication technology. The DFG research group “Metrology for THz Communications” with Professor Thomas Kürner from Technische Universität Braunschweig as spokesperson is dedicated to this topic.
At the centre of “Metrology for THz Communications”, Meteracom for short, is communication technology for the largely untouched terahertz frequency range (THz). In the future, terabits per second could be transmitted in this frequency range. However, it poses enormous challenges for today’s technology. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is supporting this research by continuing funding for another three years with 2.8 million euros.
Professor Thomas Kürner from the Institute for Communications Technology at TU Braunschweig, spokesperson for the DFG research group: “After we conducted very successful research in the field of characterising components for THz communication in the first phase, the focus in the second funding phase is on metrological issues of system characterisation.”
The Meteracom research group is working on measurement methods for THz communication systems. Among other things, the researchers will design methods that help predict the performance of THz communication in real environments.
Technology for the sixth generation of mobile communications
THz communication is one of the candidates for radio transmission technology in the – currently in the research stage of development – sixth generation of mobile radio. The first applications are emerging in point-to-point connections that enable ultra-high data rates, e.g. in microwave links or radio connections in data centres.
An essential aspect for achieving the high data rates is the bandwidths of several 10 GHz available above 300 GHz. Scientists at TU Braunschweig and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have been working on THz communication for more than ten years and were also in charge of developing the world’s first wireless communication standard for 300 GHz.
In the total of ten sub-projects of the DFG research group, all aspects of measurement technology are considered, starting with the traceability of measurements to reference standards, the procedures for characterising the measurement systems themselves, the specific measurement procedures for characterising the components of the communication systems and the transmission channel, and the measurements required for the subsequent operation of the THz communication systems.
In addition to Professor Kürner, two researchers from TU Braunschweig (Professor Admela Jukan from the Institute of Computer and Network Engineering and Professor Thomas Schneider from the Institute for High-frequency technology) and Dr. Thomas Kleine-Ostmann from the PTB are involved. The existing expertise and instrumentation at the Braunschweig site are complemented by five other researchers from Paderborn, Marburg, Stuttgart, Lübeck and Ilmenau as well as two Mercator Fellows from the National Physics Laboratory, the British equivalent of PTB, and Brown University in Rhode Island (USA).