A new antenna capable of directing the packet of waves it sends “increases the efficiency of data transmission beyond 5G,” say its creators, from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
Experimental results from the prototypes show that the antenna can provide a continuous “wide angle” beam direction, allowing it to track a moving mobile phone user in the same way that a satellite dish would rotate to track a moving object. motion.
The technology has shown dramatic improvements in data transmission efficiency at frequencies across the entire millimeter wave spectrum, specifically those specific to 5G and 6G, where high efficiencies can currently only be achieved with slow, mechanically oriented antenna solutions.
For 5G applications, early prototype beamforming antennas, operating at 26 GHz, have demonstrated unprecedented data transfer efficiency.
“While we have developed the technology for use in 5G, our current models show that our beam steering technology can be 94% efficient at 300 GHz. The technology can also be adapted for use in vehicle-to-vehicle vehicles. and from vehicle to vehicle. vehicle,” said Professor James Churm, one of the antenna’s creators. Directional: “Vehicle transmission, infrastructure, vehicle radar and satellite communications, making them good for use in automotive, radar, aerospace applications and next-generation defense.”
About the size of a cell phone, the new antenna is made of metamaterial, which is the term used for materials designed to exhibit special properties not found in natural materials. These properties can include the manipulation of electromagnetic waves, either by blocking, absorbing, enhancing, or changing the direction of the waves.
The metamaterial is made of a sheet of metal in which a series of regularly spaced holes have been drilled, each a few micrometers in diameter.
The operator controls the height of the cavity within the metamaterial and adjusts the position of the antenna with micrometer precision. Depending on its location, the antenna will control the deflection of the radio wave beam, effectively “focusing” the beam on a highly directional signal. Finally, this focused packet is forwarded at will.
“The simplicity of the design and low cost of the elements are beneficial for early industry adoption, and the compact electronic configuration makes it easy to deploy where space is limited. We are confident that the beam-steering antenna is useful for a wide range of 5G and 6G applications, as well as Industrial satellites and the Internet of Things,” added Professor Chorn.