There is a currently increasing interest for broadband mobile satellite communications that can fulfil the Digital Agenda 2020 objective for fast Internet everywhere. Furthermore,European regulators have recently agreed to harmonize the spectrum for Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms that will use parts of the Ka-Band (17-30 GHz). Operators such as Inmarsat are planning to launch Ka-Band broadband satellite data services. New antennas and related components are required for the mobile terminals. It is proposed that broadband and miniaturized Circularly Polarized (CP) Antenna Arrays Using Substrate Integrated Waveguides(SIW) enhanced with metamaterials will be developed. SIW is a progressively important technology for millimeter waves and metamaterials (artificially macroscopic structures that mimic materials) have been transforming many wireless system components. Few papers have reported SIW CP antenna arrays and no compact flat antenna designs have yet been published for such applications. Antenna arrays with at least 8x8 elements are expected to satisfy link budget requirements. A synthetic approach is proposed that combines SIW with metamaterials for miniaturization and broadbanding. Moreover, evolutionary algorithms are exploited for efficient array geometry optimization in order to reach the desired broadband performance. Complementary circuit components will also be investigated; waveguide transitions and couplers that affect the size of the feeding network and consequently the array size. The innovative antennas coming out of this project can contribute to a competitive advantage for European industry and have an impact on the adoption of broadband mobile satellite Internet. The IPR potential is significant and offers future research opportunities on antennas for emergent millimeter wave applications. Moreover, the training plan arms the experienced researcher with research management skills that are critical to arrive at a leading independent position.
The project establishes the application of inkjet printing as a key technology for the implementation of batteryless and wireless sensor and communication circuits based on wireless power transfer and energy harvesting, enabling the realization of the Internet of Things (IoT). Inkjet printing supports a large volume production, achieves a good resolution necessary for high frequency electronics, enables the use of a variety of low cost and flexible materials, and is a direct-write, and additive manufacturing technology. The research outcomes of the project focus in two goals, 1) demonstrate low profile, conformal, inkjet printed RF energy harvesters and autonomous wireless sensor and communication circuits, and 2) establish inkjet printing in millimeter wave frequencies. The applicant will become an expert in inkjet printing during the outgoing phase at Georgia Tech ATHENA laboratory, a world leading laboratory in inkjet printed RF electronics, where he would gain hands-on training in the technology, and he will develop transferable skills related to proposal, IPR and outreach activities and a wide scientific and industrial network of contacts. The applicant will also transfer to ATHENA lab his broad experience in energy harvesting and nonlinear circuit design, and he will enable a link with European networks in the field such as EU COST IC1301 on wireless power transfer, and foster a long-term collaboration beyond the project. Upon his return, an industrial secondment is foreseen which will allow the applicant to further train on IPR, as well as familiarize himself with the process of bringing the outcomes of the project into commercial products. The applicant will participate in the Scientific coordination and lead the Microwave Systems and Nanotechnology Group of the return host, which already has the necessary facilities to support inkjet printing fabrication.
Future (5G) services will impose stringent requirements in the design and operation of transport networks: increased capacity, low latency, high availability and dynamicity, reduced service provisioning with lower OpEx, while considering end-to-end service objectives (QoS and QoT). To cope with traffic growth in a cost-effective way, an appealing strategy focuses on deploying elastic and programmable commodity optical hardware via disaggregation (white boxes) combined with transmission technologies. To address both end-to-end service objectives and traffic dynamicity, an interesting approach leverages the benefits provided by SDN/NFV control and the automated decisions and re-configuration opportunities enabled by cognitive algorithms. For this, SDN/NFV provides unified control on top of systems’/devices’ programmability, regardless of the data infrastructure (packet, optical, IT), while exploiting the large real-time monitored information dynamically to adopt actions leading to attain service end-to-end objectives and more optimal network operation and resource utilization. Those hardware and software solutions constitute ONFIRE R&D goals which basically target the design, deployment and experimental evaluation of disaggregated optical transport hardware automatically articulated by novel cognitive algorithms supported by a SDN/NFV architecture. To do so, ONFIRE proposes a three-year research programme centred on two European industrial PhDs. PhD candidates will benefit from an intensive training process combining the strengths of both: i) CTTC as research institution to acquire research tools and methodology, with UPC as associated partner offering its PhD programme; ii) ALUD as a vendor delivering a highly valuable view of research activities and its impact on industrial ecosystem. Targeted PhD training programme is devised to maximize the synergy between the collaborators and promote career opportunities of ONFIRE researchers in the European ICT Research Area.