Investigation of Integrated Sensing and Communication Antenna Designs for 6G

Project: Research

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Connected intelligence among people, machines, vehicles, and things is one of the sixth-generation (6G) communications goals. The unique feature of 6G including the integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) network enables high-accuracy localization, high-resilience reconfiguration of the network, and ultra-fast-ultra-secure communications. This distinctiveness of sensing-assisted communications brings higher-quality and reliable wireless performance with accurate beamforming, faster beam reconstruction, high efficiency in tracking channel state information, and efficient network capacities. Global ICT leaders are now looking for advanced antenna technologies with ISAC functions to prepare infrastructure and testbeds of 6G systems. The 6G market is expected to reach 5 billion USD by 2030 with over a billion pre-commercial products to the technology market in coming years. Existing antenna technologies of wideband, MIMO, millimeter-wave, beamforming, and reconfigurable functions have contributed to the success of 4G to 5G services. However, critical challenges are waiting for the antenna engineers to tackle and accomplish the full potential of the ISAC network for 6G service. For example, the latency coordination in large-scale cooperation of communication and sensing systems may cause inaccurate in beamforming signals of the base stations. The shared spectrum and signals of the ISAC network may require heavy signal processing to determine the beam directions and the network re-configurations. The detached hardware of the two systems causes expensive costs in the system integration. These factors will cause low reliability in the intelligent network of 6G. Scientists and engineers are now hunting for high-performance, high-reliability, and high-stability antenna solutions for tackling these major obstacles for ultra-fast ISAC communications in 6G. This project aims to investigate novel antenna solutions for ISAC applications. The suggested technologies will tackle the bottleneck for existing sensing and communication networks by introducing compact, highly-integrative, cost-effective, and high-gain antenna solutions for enabling the functions of ISAC. Three identified project objectives will be carried out. Firstly, we will introduce a new integrative antenna supporting sensing and communication radiations. This invention suggests the excitations of leaky-wave and standing-wave modes on an antenna to obtain independent radiations from both modes. Secondly, a wideband antenna array for the ISAC applications will be investigated. The array enables the capability of frequency scanning beams from the leaky-wave elements in addition to a directive beam radiation from the standing-wave array elements. Finally, a reconfigurable antenna array controlled by actively-biasing networks for beam scanning, directing, and splitting will be demonstrated. A compact structure of the proposed sub-array configurations effectively delivers sensing and communication beams independently with frequency and pattern reconfigurabilities. The outputs of this project will produce state-of-the-art high-frequency antenna solutions for the ISAC applications to support future wireless communication systems in 6G and beyond. They will benefit industrial and academic communities in Hong Kong, the greater bay area, and the globe. 


Project number9043518
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/24 → …