Communication & Localization
PIs: Prof. Dr. Andreas Stöhr (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Dr. Gerd vom Bögel (Fraunhofer IMS), Prof. Dr. Aydin Sezgin (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
The national importance of technologies for communication and localization, as well as the development of a European strategy for greater independence from US and Chinese companies, has become evident in recent discussions surrounding the introduction of 5G. The battle for technological supremacy in future “6G & Beyond” standards has been ongoing for some time now. Questions related to inter-rack and inter-chip communication, secure wireless networking of IT infrastructure, future ultra-broadband communication for controlling and monitoring production processes and intralogistics applications, as well as human-machine interactions, are at the forefront of research efforts, which heavily build upon the 6GEM work.
terahertz.NRW will synergize and strategically expand the numerous research activities of its network partners in the BMBF 6G research hub 6GEM and other projects.
The common vision of terahertz.NRW for the field of communication and localization is the exploration of technologies and architectures for networking a multitude of mobile THz sensors for medical applications and environmental monitoring. Available frequency bands in the THz range with high bandwidth should be utilized for communication and localization [JIM/2019]. A focus lies on THz technologies and architectures suitable for Joint Communication and Sensing (JCS) purposes, meaning for both communication and sensor data acquisition [THO/2021]. This enables not only high data rates but also outstanding features such as finer distance/angle resolution, high-resolution images, localization in the cm/mm range, and low latency for communication in 6G wireless networks. However, due to the shorter wavelengths and dense antenna placement, new challenges arise as hardware distortions like phase errors and mutual coupling have a significantly stronger impact on system performance compared to lower frequencies. Therefore, terahertz.NRW investigates approaches for distortion compensation in compact array devices and methods for energy-efficient operation as well as spectrally efficient modulation techniques. In addition to the use of important hardware components such as intelligent meta-surfaces, machine learning techniques are also valuable for support. In this context, efficient and fast data acquisition and processing are required, which are implemented with real-time Compressive Sensing and other advanced signal processing methods. This also includes real-time compensation of nonlinear and linear distortions. With the availability of high bandwidths and advanced techniques for spectrum sharing, 6G wireless networks can serve a large number of devices simultaneously. The network is researching novel approaches for channel establishment in access points with directive THz antennas, access methods, and integrated radar systems for the localization and (self-) synchronization of a multitude of sensors and other devices. The increasing use of THz frequency bands for communication and sensor data acquisition naturally increases the likelihood of attacks and other undesired activities such as eavesdropping and intentional interference. Robust, efficient, and strong security methods for communication and localization applications in 6G & Beyond networks must be considered for this purpose.