New technology for beam steering could lead to efficiency over 5G
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the UK have unveiled a new “beam steering antenna” that will increase the efficiency of data transmission compared to the use of 5G technologies. It will also make available various mobile communication frequencies that are not available for the technologies that are being deployed today.
The researchers presented their findings on June 3 to the International Radio Science Union in the Atlantic, Asia and the Pacific. The team’s experimental results have shown that the antenna can provide a continuous wide-angle beam direction. . This allows the device to track the users of a mobile phone that acts like a satellite dish that rotates to track a moving object, but at a much higher speed. The device, which is about the size of an iPhone, uses metamaterial made of sheet metal with a number of regularly spaced holes with a micrometer diameter. It has an actuator that controls the length of the hole inside the metamaterial with micrometric movements. Depending on the position, the antenna will control the deviation of the radio waves. This means that the “concentrated tree” can be diverted as needed, which increases transmission efficiency.
Metamaterials are engineered materials that have special properties not commonly found in natural components. They often have properties such as manipulating electromagnetic waves by blocking, absorbing, healing or bending the waves.
The technology has shown many improvements in the efficiency of data transmission at frequencies along the millimeter wave spectrum. Specifically those recognized for mmWave and 6G transmission. At present, high efficiencies of these spectra can only be achieved with slow, mechanically driven antenna solutions.
The device is compatible with existing 5G specifications used for mobile networks. In addition, this technology does not require the complex and inefficient power supply network that is typically required in antenna systems. However, it relies on a low-complexity system that can improve performance while being easy to build.
“While we are developing technology for use in 5G, our models now show that our tree-riding technology can be 94% efficient at 300 GHz. The technology can also be adapted for use in auto communications,” he said. infrastructure, automotive radars and satellites, making it suitable for next-generation applications in the automotive, radar, space and defense industries, ”said James Churm, one of the researchers behind the facility.
The university has filed a patent application for the newly developed beam-controlled antenna technology and is looking for industrial partners for collaboration, product development and licensing.