Collaborative Research in THz Communication for 6G Mobile Networks

ECE Associate Professor Josep Jornet and Principal Research Scientist Michele Polese were awarded a $456K NSF grant for “Enabling Mobile Terahertz Communication for 6G Cellular Networks.” This is part of a collaborative effort with Tampere University, where Professors Yevgeni Koucheryavy and Dmitri Moltchanov were awarded a $254K euros grant from the Academy of Finland.

Abstract Source: NSF

Following the commercial deployment of the fifth generation (5G) of wireless cellular networks, the wireless research community has started defining the technologies that will be part of the next generation of mobile networks. Recent evolution in device technologies has brought the sub-terahertz and terahertz bands (broadly speaking the frequencies between 100 GHz and 3 THz of the electromagnetic spectrum) into the spotlight as an enabler for terabit-per-second communications (i.e., two orders of magnitude higher than current 5G networks) in the sixth generation (6G) networks, allowing for the development of new transformative use cases such as holographic telepresence in the metaverse. Most of the research so far has focused on understanding the capabilities of THz devices, the peculiarities of THz wave propagation, and how to engineer around them. However, integrating the THz spectrum in truly mobile and complex cellular networks requires a proper design of the full communication stack. To investigate, conceive and test the solutions that will enable 6G mobile networks in the terahertz band is the goal of this effort. The project contributes to the scientific development of THz communications as well as to the early standardization efforts of the same, all while training students from diverse backgrounds at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.

The goal of this effort is to create novel solutions to provide consistent, ultra-high data rates in 6G mobile terahertz networks by improving the reliability and efficiency of the physical and link layers, and by introducing mechanisms for service continuity and management of intermittent connectivity at the system level. To accomplish this ambitious goal, the project has been organized in three intertwined thrusts. Thrust 1 develops channel modeling methodologies that constitute the foundation of the modeling and evaluation activities of the rest of the project. Thrust 2 designs protocols and algorithms for the mobile THz physical and link layers. Finally, Thrust 3 builds system-level solutions to support application requirements, with a multi-pronged approach that aims at improving the session continuity and application performance with intermittent connectivity.

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering