A focus of our research activities at the Institute of Microwave Engineering is the development of new hardware- as well as software-related concepts for current and future wireless communication systems operating in the millimeter-wave to Sub-THz spectrum.
Mobile satellite communication systems operating at millimeter wave frequencies are an essential pillar in future (hybrid) network architectures for high-throughput low latency services. However, today’s global communication systems are characterized by a plurality of applications with diverse requirements and specifications. This is chiefly true for communication systems in the aerospace sector, which have the most diverse performance and characteristics spanning over large ranges of frequency, employing different polarizations, and requiring different gain and pointing characteristics. Towards the future deployment of integrated terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks, the true virtue of realizing such massive hybrid constellations lies in a general system approach with an unprecedented level of flexibility and reconfigurability. Therefore, our cutting-edge research in this area aims at innovative electronically steerable antenna terminals whose system architectures are freely scalable and thus these terminals as a part of the future hybrid constellation can be easily customized for the specific applications. In this respect, we have substantial expertise in the development of the overall system architecture, integration concepts, radiating elements, passive RF-components, beamformer, and calibration/test procedure.
Apart from the application-centric research in this field, we also conduct fundamental research on spacetime modulated antenna topologies with the overall objective to specifically mitigate the high dynamic range and linearity requirements of fully digital beamforming systems. Moreover, in terms of space communications, we are developing a versatile and reconfigurable reflectarray technology for operating frequency of 240 GHz and beyond.
Multi-user communication systems with a central base station equipped with a very large number of receive antennas (so-called massive MIMO) are attaining more and more attention. The main challenges in such systems are the acquisition of accurate channel state information and the effort for realizing such systems. These problems can be overcome by means of non-coherent receivers. The interaction between the analog, low-complexity radio frontend and the employed joint detection algorithms is studied in detail. Key elements of the research are the propagation channel, the antenna configuration, the system design, and the hardware influence of low-complexity radio frontends.
Data Center Communication
As data centers steadily grow in size, fiber connectivity between individual servers becomes more complicated. The associated problems can be alleviated through the development of new opto-electronic wireless bridges using a microwave photonic based system approach. More specifically, in the project "FIWIFI" broadband communication systems in the upper millimeter-wave regime are developed to provide "fiber-like" data rates using the EPIC technology which facilities to monolithically integrate electrical and photonic components on the same chip.
- Channel modeling for multi-user-massive-MIMO systems
- Development of scalable and flexible SatCom antenna terminals
- Design and characterization of highly-integrated or low-complexity radio frontends
- Design of microwave photonic based communications systems using EPIC technology
- EU: FlexCom – FLEXible phased array system for sat-COM applications
- DFG-Project: Rekonfigurierbare elektromagnetische Oberflächen im Millimeterwellen-Bereich
- DFG-Project: Planare Gruppenantennen mit elektronisch rekonfigurierbarer Apertur
- DFG-Project: Fiber-Wireless-Fiber Fully Integrated D-Band System
- DFG-Project:Low-Complexity Radio Frontends and Non-coherent Detection for Massive MIMO