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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P008380/1
Title: Millimeter-wave Antennas and Components for Future Mobile Broadband Networks (MILLIBAN)
Principal Investigator: Feresidis, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Gardner, Professor P Lancaster, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems BluWireless Technology Elite Antennas Ltd
Plasma Antennas Ltd Samsung
Department: Electronic, Electrical and Computer Eng
Organisation: University of Birmingham
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 03 April 2017 Ends: 02 April 2020 Value (£): 743,439
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth Networks & Distributed Systems
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
EP/P008402/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Sep 2016 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel Sep 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Future mobile communication services will require exceptionally high data rates (over 10Gbits/s) to support more demanding user requirements, including High Definition video streaming. True mobile broadband is a major challenge for the telecommunications industry and urgently calls for radical new design approaches. The millimeter wave (mmWave) band (30GHz-300GHz), offers underexploited opportunities in terms of wide available bandwidths thus supporting high data throughput (e.g. multi-Gbps/Tbps) as well as enhanced data security. This is in sharp contrast to the dearth of spectrum in the congested sub-6GHz bands. In recent years there has been considerable interest in using mmWave technology in telecommunication applications.

High performance cost-effective antennas with the ability to focus their radiated energy towards different directions are a crucial requirement for the successful deployment of envisaged mmWave mobile wireless networks. State-of-the-art mmWave antenna technology is unable to support this type of continuous beam steering with low power requirements and wide angular steering range. This imposes a major barrier to the successful development of the envisaged mmWave mobile networks.

The interdisciplinary research described in this proposal will address this major problem. We will develop new paradigms in antenna design leading to breakthroughs in the analogue beamforming performance. This will be based on innovative enabling material technology along with state of the art microfabrication processes building on heritage at the applicants' institutions. The capabilities of the proposed antenna designs will be fully leveraged to maximize the system throughput with the optimized design of mmWave based small cell access techniques and realistic test-bed measurements which will demonstrate opportunities for significantly enhanced communication system throughput.

The outcomes of this work would place the UK at the centre of developments in this transformative area. This joint proposal brings together two globally leading academic research institutes/centres having complementary experimental infrastructure and skills. Importantly, the proposal involves several key industrial partners who will help to shape the programme and shorten the lag between fundamental research and product development thus further increasing impact generation.

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Organisation Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk