5G Antenna Metamaterials
A project to investigate the use of metamaterials in antennas for point-to-point radio networks is being carried out by researchers.
17:31 10 April 2018
Researchers from the University of Exeter’s Department of Physics and Astronomy are working together with a microwave engineering company, Flann Microwave, to understand how metamaterials can be used in antennas for point-to-point radio networks. The goal is to determine if the project can make antennas smaller, cheaper, more powerful and less intrusive.
Metamaterials are formed by assembling multiple elements using composite materials, such as metals and plastics. These materials can be used in antennas to allow them to absorb light waves while reducing their sizes. This project is expected to play a crucial role in the deployment of 5G, the next-generation mobile network that is expected to launch in the UK starting 2020. Metamaterials could be the key to make the widespread deployment of 5G financially viable. The smaller and more lightweight they are, the cheaper and easier thy will be to manufacture, ship and install.
Professor James Watts, CEO of Flann Microwave, said “This is incredibly exciting work which has implications nationally and internationally in the development of next generation communications networks. We are excited at an academic level and by the practical and commercial opportunities which we hope will flow from this project and which could one day become mainstream in network development.”