Metasurface antenna could enable future 6G communications networks

DMA prototype 1. Credit: University of Glasgow

A staff led by researchers from the University of Glasgow has developed an modern wi-fi communications antenna that mixes the distinctive properties of metamaterials with refined sign processing to ship a brand new peak of efficiency.

In a paper revealed within the IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation, titled “60 GHz Programmable Dynamic Metasurface Antenna (DMA) for Next-Generation Communication, Sensing, and Imaging Applications: From Concept to Prototype,” the researchers showcase their growth of a prototype digitally coded dynamic metasurface antenna, or DMA, managed by means of high-speed field-programmable gate array (FPGA).

Their DMA is the primary on the earth designed and demonstrated on the working frequency of 60 GHz millimeter-wave (mmWave) band—the portion of the spectrum reserved by worldwide legislation to be used in industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) functions.

The antenna’s capacity to function within the greater mmWave band might allow it to develop into a key piece of {hardware} within the still-developing discipline of superior beamforming metasurface antennas.

It might assist future 6G networks ship ultra-fast information switch with excessive reliability, making certain high-quality service and seamless connectivity, and enabling new functions in communication, sensing, and imaging.

The DMA’s high-frequency operation is made potential by specifically designed metamaterials—constructions which were rigorously engineered to maximise their capacity to work together with electromagnetic waves in methods which are inconceivable in naturally occurring supplies.

The DMA makes use of specifically designed, absolutely tunable metamaterial parts which were rigorously engineered to control electromagnetic waves by means of software program management, creating a complicated class of leaky-wave antennas able to high-frequency reconfigurable operation.

Metasurface antenna could enable future 6G communications networks
DMA protoype. Credit: University of Glasgow

The matchbook-sized prototype makes use of high-speed interconnects with simultaneous parallel management of particular person metamaterial parts by means of FPGA programming. The DMA can form its communications beams and create a number of beams without delay, switching in nanoseconds to make sure community protection stays secure.

Professor Qammer H. Abbasi, co-director of the University of Glasgow’s Communications, Sensing and Imaging Hub, is likely one of the paper’s lead authors. He mentioned, “This meticulously designed prototype is a really thrilling growth within the discipline of next-generation adaptive antennas, which leaps past earlier cutting-edge developments in reconfigurable programmable antennas.

“In recent years, DMAs have been demonstrated by other researchers around the world in microwave bands, but our prototype pushes the technology much further, into the higher mmWave band of 60 GHz. That makes it a potentially very valuable stepping stone towards new use cases of 6G technology and could pave the way for even higher-frequency operation in the terahertz range.”

The capabilities of the DMA design might discover use in affected person monitoring and care, the place it might assist instantly monitor sufferers’ important indicators and maintain monitor of their actions.

It might additionally allow improved built-in sensing and communications gadgets to be used in high-resolution radar and to assist autonomous automobiles like self-driving vehicles and drones safely discover their means round on the roads and within the air.

The improved velocity of information switch might even assist create holographic imaging, permitting convincing 3D fashions of individuals and objects to be projected anyplace on the earth in actual time.

Dr. Masood Ur Rehman, from the University of Glasgow, James Watt College of Engineering, who led the antenna growth, mentioned, “6G has the potential to ship transformative advantages throughout society. Our high-frequency clever and extremely adaptive antenna design may very well be one of many technological basis stones of the subsequent era of mmWave reconfigurable antennas. The programmable beam management and beam-shaping of the DMA might assist in fine-grained mmWave holographic imaging in addition to next-generation near-field communication, beam focusing, and wi-fi energy switch.

“We’ll work toward the extension of this design in the near future to offer more flexible and versatile antenna performance and continue to play our part to meet the needs of our increasingly connected smart world.”

Extra info:
Abdul Jabbar et al, 60 GHz Programmable Dynamic Metasurface Antenna (DMA) for Subsequent-Technology Communication, Sensing, and Imaging Functions: From Idea to Prototype, IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation (2024). DOI: 10.1109/OJAP.2024.3386452

Metasurface antenna might allow future 6G communications networks (2024, April 12)
retrieved 12 April 2024

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