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Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) have developed phased-array antenna system for the 26 GHz 5G band. This mm-wave frequency band provides a large bandwidth and allows for very high data rates, but at a cost: the communication range of 5G mm-wave frequencies is considerably lower than that of 4G frequencies. One approach to overcome this, is to put multiple antennas in a array, which, through interference patterns, allows radiation to be focused in a single direction. This leads to a larger antenna gain.
In collaboration with NXP, PhD researcher Teun van den Biggelaar developed such a high-gain 5G antenna system. One challenge with this endeavor is to be able to accurately characterize the system, in order to ensure compliance with relevant standards. Together with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States, Van den Biggelaar has developed methods to accurately characterize (integrated) 5G mm-wave antenna systems. These methods lead to less measurement errors and uncertainty, which will ultimately enhance the reliability of the future 5G cellular network.
Van den Biggelaar received his PhD cum laude on 11 November.