The millimeter wave measurement device was developed within the framework of a scientific-technological collaboration between CCTVal, UTFSM, PUCV and Nokia Bell Labs.
USM Communications.- During June, part of the team from the Valparaíso Scientific and Technological Center (CCTVal), belonging to the Federico Santa María Technical University, traveled to New Jersey, United States, to deliver a new piece of equipment to the Nokia Bell Labs research center, from Nokia Corporation. for the study of millimeter waves developed in the country.
The device, manufactured within the framework of the alliance for the creation of high technology between these institutions, together with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, is known as “Channel Sounder” and allows to quickly characterize the intensity and direction of spectrum signals. radioelectric. With a transmitter and receiver mounted on a rotating platform, it is a technology that is aimed at studying the behavior of the new millimeter wave bands that will be used in wireless telecommunications for fifth (5G) and sixth generation (6G) services. ).
“The new 140 GHz equipment has the capacity to select frequencies in a range from 135 to 142 GHz and constitutes the most recent development in a line of evolution of projects started several years ago, aimed at knowing more precisely the behavior of bands like 6G, which are still in the exploratory stage”, comments Rodolfo Feick, a CCTVal researcher, affiliated with the USM Electronics Department and leader of the collaboration.
Manufactured by scientists and engineers from CCTVal and the PUCV School of Electrical Engineering, this new scientific instrument will provide relevant data with which it will be possible, for example, to “predict how often base stations should be installed, what percentage of user coverage can be achieved and what transmission speeds are possible”, indicates Loreto Romero, a CCTVal engineer who is responsible for taking the equipment to Nokia’s laboratories and putting it into operation together with company professionals.
Although 6G technology is still in the experimental stage, its implementation hopes to provide new services beyond meeting the growing demand for speed in data transmission and the increasing prevalence of connection between devices, compared to what development national technology can make important contributions.
“Particular interest has aroused the possibility of taking advantage of the same signals used in the transmission of information to achieve that, at the same time, they serve for the detection and location of objects in the environment of the base stations. An application of this would be, for example, in accident prevention, when two objects are detected on collision paths. The construction of the new equipment developed in CCTVal considers precisely the possibility of measuring those signal propagation parameters that are relevant to predict the services that it will be possible to provide with 6G”, adds Dr. Feick.
Two previous pairs of equipment, also aimed at statistically measuring telecommunications channels, have already been manufactured by the work group of the Chilean research center and the PUCV: one at 28 and the other at 60 GHz. However, the scarcity and saturation of electromagnetic spectrum has made it necessary to resort to increasingly higher frequencies, which necessarily requires instruments capable of characterizing these new bands, and it is here where the new equipment incorporates various improvements resulting from the experience acquired with the previous ones. In particular, the new device includes the possibility of covering a wide range of frequencies within the 140 GHz band, adding parameters that were not previously possible to measure.
This third version of the technology contemplates the manufacture of two identical pieces of equipment, one of which always remains in Chile, enabling simultaneous research work in our country and in the United States. Thus, after the equipment is delivered to Nokia, the next step is to carry out measurements with both, which will serve as the basis for further investigation. Additionally, within the upcoming plans is the transfer of the equipment delivered to different parts of the world to expand the variety of data, as happened with its previous versions, which have already been used in Finland, Greece and Germany.
“This work undoubtedly allows us to give visibility to the engineering capacities that exist in Chile. It is not minor to create technology for one of the most important scientific centers in the world, the one that has hosted nine Nobel Prize winners. This speaks well of our country, because we are trained to build scientific and technological instrumentation, and generate first-rate knowledge. The best testament to the effectiveness of the kits developed is the successful track record of publications based on these kits. All of them are co-authored by the group of CCTVal researchers and their international counterparts at Nokia Bell Labs.”, the researcher ends.
The collaboration between the CCTVal and the PUCV with the US center began in 2013, thus establishing an alliance from the national territory with one of the most important companies in the world in the field of telecommunications. His most relevant patents and discoveries include transistors, lasers, fiber optics, DSL technology, mobile telephony, communications satellites and various programming languages.