Fiber optic sensors—used in critical applications like detecting fires in tunnels, pinpointing leaks in pipelines and predicting landslides—are about to get even faster and more accurate.
The first fully integrated single-chip digital millimeter-wave (MMW) beamformer, created by electrical and computer engineers at the University of Michigan, opens up new possibilities in high-frequency 5G communications. The technology could be used to improve vehicle-to-vehicle communication, autonomous driving, satellite internet, and national defense, to name a few.
Society relies heavily on wireless communication. Many individuals have access to at least one mobile phone; in fact, there are more mobile phones in use than the current population of the planet. Within five years, predictions suggest that there will be more than four billion additional devices connected to cellular networks. As a result, data traffic will grow, leading to congestion of the current 4G network. To mitigate this issue, the world is turning to fifth generation (5G) mobile communications, but this will require a significant change to the antenna system. Electrical engineer and Ph.D.-candidate Teun van den Biggelaar has developed an antenna system based on a phased array approach that allows for reliable communication over a 5G network. Teun received his Ph.D. cum laude on November 11th at TU/e.
While we tackle scores of digital tasks daily on our desktop computers, smartphones, smart watches, notebooks, security devices and sound systems, and converse with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant to answer questions or execute everyday tasks, we sometimes forget how lucky we are.
Google parent Alphabet has announced that its Loon team has broken the record for the longest stratospheric flight duration, staying aloft for 312 consecutive days. The announcement was posted on the Loon blog, where the team also outlined the history of the project and its goals for the future.