Wireless record breaker

Researchers at the University of Essex have succeeded in transmitting data at 10.4 Gigabits/sec over a 60 metre line-of-sight span.

Researchers at the University of Essex  have succeeded in transmitting data at 10.4 Gigabits/sec over a 60 metre line-of-sight span – this distance being typical of the urban distribution point to home environment in the UK. Greater distances should be possible and are the subject of further investigation.

While the techniques used by the Essex group fit exactly to the MultiBand Alliance template in the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.15 ultra-wideband radio standardisation process, they are important because they show that transmitting data at 10 Gigabit/sec over a radio link is feasible.

Head of the Essex project, Professor Stuart Walker, commented: ‘This achievement represents the culmination of many months of painstaking work. Multigigabit transmission systems of any sort require really detailed design and wireless is no exception. The original aim was just to investigate the performance of cheap flat patch antennas. We were pleasantly surprised by the initial results and kept on improving the experimental set-up.’

The experiments were carried out using an array of three in-house designed patch antennas covering a band from just below 2 GHz up to just above 7 GHz. The 10.4 Gigabit/sec date rate was achived by using concurrent 1.2, 1.6 and 2.4 Gigabit /sec channels combined with polarisation-based frequency reuse. A complete carrier and data synchronisation subsystem was also constructed so largely error-free performance could be demonstrated.

A paper on the basic subsystem design was presented at the IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) and IEEE-sponsored Antennas and Propagation Conference at LoughboroughUniversity in April 2005.