Gigabit data transmission with intelligent anntennas

The Terahertz Communication Lab (www.tcl.tu-bs.de) of the Technical University Braunschweig and IAF Institute for applied radio system technology announce their cooperation on the area of future wireless communication.

In the project Qstream promoted by the Ferderal Ministry of Economy and Technology will be examined new procedures for ultra-fast wireless data transmitting. The cooparation is embedded in an european project within the research and development program MEDEA+. Renowned european Universities take part and enterprises from the consumer electronics, like NXP, Thomson or STMicroelectronics. That project is also a cooperation within the association TELIAISON (www.teliaison.de). This is a consortium of seven middle-class enterprises from the region southeast Lower Saxony, the Technical University Braunschweig and the University of Applied Science Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel. It promoted young researchers and human recources development.

The wireless data communication gained in the last years enormously significance. It offers a high degree of flexibility and allows application, those integrated in daily life. Nevertheless, the need in speed soon exceeds the hundredfold of that what today´s systems are able to perform like WLAN (IEEE 802.11g) or Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1). To reach this aim, new wireless communication system become necessary. The system, which is developed within Qstream, will work in a frequency response about 60 GHz and offer a range of about 10 metres. With such a 60-GHz-Radio system, e. g., the contents of a DVD are able to be transferred within 15 seconds, what to today´s systems would last more than 15 minutes. Moreover, the 60-GHz-radio technology is valid as the only one, which allows the wireless transmission of uncompressed video material (HDTV) is possible.

Challenges in this project are among other things the high data rate of the transferred signals and the condition of 60-GHz-Signal, like a beam of light very strongly bundled up is sent out. Both makes very high demands for the used harware and the signal processing. In the process of the project a hardware demonstrator becomes in Braunschweig conceived and built up, that for the first time a robust data communication with a speed of some Gbps in 60-GHz-frequency band will make possible. Intelligent antennas come to the employment, which adapt automatically to the environment. In case of one insufficient connecting quality, released e.g. by persons between transmitters and receivers, align themselves these antennas automatically to an alternenative transmission path and ensure so an undisturbed connection without interruption.

With the developed technology it becomes possible to transfer high-resolution video signals to HDTV-screens. Further future applications could be e.g. download stations similarly today´s video bars, at those e.g. a complete DVD or Blu-Ray Disc could be downloaded. In addition a very fast transmission of high data volumes between PCs and other electronic devices becomes possible.

The Terahertz Communications Lab (TCL) is an union of four research groupings at the Technical Unitversity of Braunschweig and the Department for Electromagnetic Fields on the Physically Technical Federal Institution (PTB), likewise resident in Braunschweig. Intention of this union is it, to open the up to now unused THz-Frequency range for wireless communication.

At the Qstream – project two groups of the TCL are involved. The Department for Portable Radio Systems at Institute for Communications Technology under the direction of Professor Dr. Jörg Schöbel, is occupied with channel- and propagation modelling and measurements and with the system design of future communication systems. In the Department for Microwave Engineering at the Institute for High-Frequency Engineering under the direction of Professor Dr. Jörg Schöbel antennas and hardware components become developed and realised up to a complete demonstrator.

The realisation of digital communication systems with high data rates and digital broadcasting forms the main focus of the activities of the Institute for applied radio system technoloy (IAF) in Braunschweig. The offered services cover system conception and simulation, system design and implementation in hardware near programming languages as well as development, production and test of hardware components. IAF also offers a modular conception of a FPGA Building Set for the realisation of a various range of applications in the area of digital signal processing. The FPGA building set is based upon the powerful FPGA mainboard which could be completed by a range of pluggable add-on boards with additional functionality.