Technology 3 min read

Researchers Test Millimeter Wave Tech for Long-Distance Communication

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keeplight /

Despite improvements in recent years, wireless communication services still couldn’t keep up with the speed demand, leading to an increasing need for more radio frequencies.

This is where extremely high frequency (EHF), or Millimeter Wave comes in. Millimeter Wave (mmWave) is a band of spectrum between 30 and 300 gigahertz.

Major ISPs are testing the millimeter wave for 5G communication services, and manufacturers are designing the components that can accommodate this frequency spectrum.

A research center and a service provider from Japan are testing the viability of mmWave technology for long-distance wireless communication, using drones as an innovative solution.

A Millimeter Wave Wireless System on a Drone

The ability to transmit data on such high frequencies can be useful in a variety of services such as high-speed internet and wireless communications, broadband access, and high data transfer rates.

One of the illustrative examples of our need for frequencies and the ever-increasing data usage is drone technology that serves a broad range of applications.

Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) in collaboration with SECOM, a Japanese security company, developed a millimeter wave system for long-distance wireless communication.

As a test of their system, the team managed to use a drone to transmit 4K uncompressed video in real time.

The two partners have jointly conducted this research each for specific reasons, or let’s say for possible monetizable services.

While SECOM is interested in developing services for broad area surveillance using drones, Tokyo Tech has been exploring millimeter wave-based wireless communication systems for its 5G ecosystem project (5G-MiEdge).

Since last year, Tokyo Tech and SECOM have been working on mmWave wireless communication devices that can overcome the attenuation problem or the reduction in signal strength over long distances of radio waves

For their long-distance video transmission system, engineers from SECOM and Tokyo Tech developed an antenna based on a lens antenna by Intel that narrows the emission angle of waves. The team had to make the antenna smaller and lighter enough to be mounted on a drone.

Researchers succeeded in using the drone as a real-time wireless transmission system, with a “dramatically reduced” delay time compared to conventional compressed transmission systems.

“In their tests, the team was able to use a drone to take video in 4K and transmit the video in real time from over 100 m in the air to an access point on the ground. This technology enables the provision of “safe and secure” services in various fields, such as stadium security, and infrastructure monitoring by drones.”

Read More: Twisted Light Holds the key to the Future of Wireless Data Transmission

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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