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Metamaterial-based technology for broadband wireless communications and rf (radio frequency) identification

The project is devoted to the development and application of metamaterials in a new generation of high-performance, compact and cost effective rf and microwave modules for modern broadband wireless systems and rf identification.

SUBJECT OF THE PROJECT This project is devoted to research, development and implementation of novel metamaterial-based (MM-based) passive RF (Radio Frequency) and microwave components and systems. The new generation of MM-based passives will be used in a number of state-of-the-art applications, namely cost effective microwave modules and antennas for modern wireless communication systems according to WiMAX standard and components used for RF identification (RFID). Metamaterials present a new paradigm in modern science. They are artificial electromagnetic multi-functional materials engineered to meet the prescribed requirements regarding the values of relative permittivity and permeability. Due to specific interactions with electromagnetic fields, MMs exhibit properties superior to those of materials found in nature. By tailoring material characteristics according to the needs of the application, new functionalities and enhancements of RF and microwave devices and components can be achieved, such as super-compact dimensions, high-performance, arbitrary dual-band performance, arbitrary antenna scanning angles, etc. This project will focus on the application of a subclass of metamaterials, so called double-negative or left-handed (LH) metamaterials, that simultaneously exhibit negative values of effective permittivity and permeability. LH MMs show unparalleled properties, such as the backward radiation or zero phase delay. Two applications of novel MM components are incorporated in this project. First is the development of novel low-cost microwave and millimetre links, especially those operating according to WiMAX standard in a 24 GHz (Gigahertz) frequency band for future wireless Internet systems, in competition to currently existing systems operating below 6 GHz. To this end, metamaterials will be employed to allow for the development of novel small-size, high-performance modules and antennas for broadband wireless access. Secondly, MM-based passives and antennas will be used for the development of novel RF identification (RFID) systems where both miniaturisation and performance improvement are envisaged given the unusual properties of metamaterials. Instead of using conventional bar codes, which can deteriorate in time or be damaged on purpose, a new method is envisaged that includes wireless excitation and analysis of a response of an identification tag. PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT The purpose of this project is to foster cooperation between participating institutions in development, testing and introduction to the market of novel MM-based RF and microwave passive components and devices for WiMAX and RF ID applications. The main aims of the project are to reduce size, improve performances and reduce the cost of existing systems, to increase the competitive strength of all participants, increase market share in existing markets, enter new markets, and, in the end, offer new employment opportunities and increase benefits in the wireless communication industry worldwide. Institutions participating in this project have been carefully chosen for fostering the integration of existing theoretical knowledge, and the modelling and simulation abilities with fabrication, testing and measurement capabilities, therefore insuring that the project goals will be reached, and new MM-based passive devices developed and implemented, according to the needs of participants from the industry. Keywords: LH metamaterials, microwave links, broadband access.
Project ID: 
3 853
Start date: 
01-07-2006
Project Duration: 
30months
Project costs: 
1 420 000.00€
Technological Area: 
High Frequency Technology, Microwaves
Market Area: 
Satellite Microwave Communications

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