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World Record – Scientists Send 6Gbps of E Band Wireless Data Over 37km

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 (8:03 am) - Score 812
e_band_satellite_link_experiment

A team of German scientists have successfully achieved a record data rate of 6Gbps (Gigabits per second) over a distance of 36.7 kilometres by harnessing part of the E band spectrum, which operates at a radio frequency of 71-76GHz (GigaHertz). The new development could be used to boost both terrestrial and Satellite broadband capacity links.

The E band is typically used for broadband point-to-point fixed wireless links, such as those that connect to Satellites or for line-of-sight style high capacity terrestrial data links (Microwave) like those needed to supply mobile operator masts or big businesses (often used as a cheaper alternative to digging an expensive new fibre optic cable into the ground).

The demonstration, which positioned a high powered E band transmitter with parabolic antenna and receiver at two high points on a 36.7km stretch between Cologne and the distant town of Wachtberg, was carried out as part of the Advanced E Band Satellite Link Studies (ACCESS) project.

Ordinarily the signals would weaken over larger distances and so the team had to develop powerful and efficient transmitters and receivers, which harnessed a new generation of fully monolithically integrated millimeter wave circuits (MMICs).

ACCESS Project Statement

The circuits are based on two innovative transistor technologies developed and manufactured by the project partner Fraunhofer IAF. In the transmitter the broadband signals are amplified to a comparatively high transmission power of up to 1 W with the help of power amplifiers on the basis of the novel compound semiconductor gallium-nitride.

A highly directive parabolic antenna emits the signals. Built into the receiver are low-noise amplifiers on the basis of high-speed transistors using indium-gallium-arsenide-semiconductor layers with very high electron mobility. They ensure the detection of the weak signals at high distance.

Until now we have seen various terrestrial E band setups that could deliver full duplex throughput of around 1-3Gbps over distances of just a few kilometres, although the feat of being able to send 6Gbps over such a huge distance of nearly 37km is quite a significant improvement and could spell good news for some isolated communities and future 5G mobile capacity needs.

The ACCESS project, which finished on 30th April 2016, was a collaboration between teams from the University of Stuttgart, the Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Elektronik (IHE), Radiometer Physics GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF).

The good news is that further development will now take place as part of a follow-on project called ELIPSE (E Band Link Platform and Test for Satellite Communication).

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar Kahajoin

    This could be very exciting for rural communitys in the future.

  2. Avatar Tim

    Cool, Siklu style ptp with more capacity and higher range. Will be good if we’re allowed that output power level. Although rain fade will be an issue at distances like that!

  3. Siklu’s EH-2500FX can do 15Km for rural communities while delivering 2Gbps full duplex

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