Workshop: Rohde & Schwarz

Monday, 16:20 – 18:00 in the Room “Zoo Duisburg”

Towards 6G: From THz communications to reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS)

Dr. Taro Eichler1, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Keusgen2

1 Rohde & Schwarz GmbH | Germany
2 Technical University Berlin | Germany

New frequency ranges such as sub-Terahertz (sub-THz) and terahertz (THz) waves have frequencies extending from 0.1 THz up to 3 THz and fall in the spectral region between microwave and optical waves and promise a plethora of applications yet to be explored, ranging from communication to imaging, spectroscopy, and sensing. The prospect of offering large contiguous frequency bands to meet the demand for highest data transfer rates up to the terabit/sec range make this frequency range, in addition to microwave and millimeter bands, a key research area of 6G mobile communication. This tutorial aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the developments in 6G technologies and highlight various research activities dedicated to the role of sub-THz and THz waves in 6G

To fully utilize this potential, it is crucial to understand the propagation characteristics, and channel measurements as well as channel models have become essential for the development of future communication standards. We will introduce essential measurement techniques to characterize the broadband mobile radio channel with respect to pathloss, temporal dispersion, time variance and Doppler, as well as directions of arrival and present typical results of the sub-THz radio cannel. Especially in the microwave and lower millimeter wave range, MIMO and hybrid MIMO will be of significant importance. Thus, we will also address the measurement of MIMO channels. Integrated Sensing and Communication (ISAC) offers new opportunities to save the spectrum and hardware resources by combining communications and radar sensing and therefore also the propagation characteristics with respect to sensing are of increasing interest.

AI will be an integral part of the communication system and we will discuss some applications such as an AI-driven neural receiver.

Future wireless communication systems will exploit large antenna arrays and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS), to achieve a high degree of freedom in the space domain and enhance coverage. RIS have the potential to dynamically shape the radio environment, which allows the transmission channel to be “programmed”. Design and measurements of RIS pose a challenge, which will be discussed.

Besides using electronic MMICs, alternative methods for generating THz radiation based on photonic technologies will play a key role in the future. Especially with the prospect of miniaturizing today’s lab setups into photonic integrated circuits (PIC), these approaches could become mainstream. Recently R&S is coordinating a research project, 6G-ADLANTIK, funded by the German ministry for education and research with the objective to develop a novel tunable THz system based on ultra-stable photonic sources and optical frequency comb technology for communication and instrumentation.