The capability to performing measurements and evaluating these measurements in a proper way are crucial for the advance of THz communication systems. Metrology at THz frequencies is however still in its infancy and as of today it only covers detector calibration to characterization of ultrafast devices and to measurement uncertainty analysis of different spectrometer types available at THz frequencies. Meteracom addresses the grand challenge of metrology in THz communication measurements systematically, and in four distinct project areas:
- Traceability to the International System of Units (SI) [Project Area T]
- Characterisation of the measurement system itself [Project Area A]
- Metrological characterisation of the RF components and the propagation channel [Project Area B]
- Measurements required for enabling the functionality of THz communications [Project Area C]
Meteracom will thoroughly investigate measurement systems and procedures required for THz communication systems. The open issues in all four areas will be addressed in this research unit. This will comprise
(i) Traceability to the International System of Units (SI): The development of concepts to allow metrological traceability for the measurement quantities required for THz communications.
(ii) New metrological methods to characterize the measurement system itself: This will include the investigation of multi-dimensional channel sounding yielding advanced broadband calibration procedures and the precise characterisation of sampling systems for the sampling of ultra-high bandwidth signals.
(iii) Metrology for the THz communication system components and the propagation channel: Novel measurement procedures for the experimental characterization of the whole THz communication system consisting of active THz electronic and photonic transceivers, antennas and the propagation channel will be derived.
(iv) Metrology for the functionality and the signal integrity of THz communication systems: Metrological challenges to enable the functionality of THz communication systems covering various aspects.
Phase I of the project started in 2019. Since 2023 Meteracom is in the project phase II. The project structure has been slightly modified in phase II compared to the one in phase I. The restructuring took place in project areas B and C. Project B3 (Ultrawideband Sampling) has achieved its objectives in phase I and is not continued in phase II as a project in project area B. Instead of hardware implementation aspects, the PIs involved in B3 are now focusing on deriving THz transceiver physical impairment models. Since this is a more system-oriented activity the former B3 project will be continued as project C3 strengthening the system aspects of the overall Meteracom project. This change of focus is also in line with the general role of THz communications research, where focus in the past has been on components. With this new structure and its new focus project area C will be renamed from “Metrology Functionality of THz Communications” to “THz Systems Metrology”.
The four project areas (T, A, B and C) are subdivided into different projects. The following diagram shows the different project areas and the corresponding projects as well as the interaction between the areas and projects:
Project structure phase I
Project structure phase II