RWTH Aachen University: New test methods for 5G technology

As part of the RWTH profile area “Information & Communication Technologies”, research is carried out to estimate the immissions from new cell phone technologies. The project is a topic of the research magazine “RWTH THEMEN”, which will be published this winter semester.

The mobile internet on the smartphone has been part of everyday life for many people for several years. The possibility of accessing multimedia content in high quality and speed while on the move has become more and more a matter of course. The mobile network operators are responding to the constantly growing demand for higher data transmission rates by expanding their networks and introducing new mobile radio standards. Compliance with the immission control limit values for high-frequency electromagnetic fields is of crucial importance here. The scientists at the Institute for High Frequency Technology at RWTH Aachen University conduct research into the acquisition and assessment of immissions using new mobile radio technologies. The focus is on the compatibility of immissions from electromagnetic fields with the environment and especially people. Investigations were carried out on small cells, which provide additional data transmission capacity in areas with high user traffic. Immission levels were also determined for the indoor supply with mobile radio, as can be found in office buildings and airports. The focus is currently on expanding the new 5G technology.

The mobile phone user in the spotlight

5G places new demands on immission measurement in many ways. One of the new technical possibilities is the use of Massive MIMO. MIMO stands for Multiple Input Multiple Output. This allows signals to be emitted in a strongly bundled way in so-called beams. A comparison makes the difference to the conventional supply of a radio cell clear: A stage as a whole can be illuminated by a wide beam spotlight. However, it is also possible to direct a narrow, brighter cone of light onto a person on the stage and follow them. This is exactly what happens with the radio signal with Massive MIMO: It is bundled in a beam in the direction of a device to be supplied and can be swiveled. In this way, users can be supplied with high signal strengths right up to the edge of the radio cell, while at the same time disturbing other users is reduced. This increases the data throughput considerably. However, the determination of the maximum possible immission through all possible beam configurations presents immission measurement technology, together with other innovations in 5G, with considerable challenges. As part of a project funded by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, research is being carried out on the development of a suitable method for recording the maximum immission under these new conditions. However, the determination of the maximum possible immission through all possible beam configurations presents immission measurement technology, together with other innovations in 5G, with considerable challenges. As part of a project funded by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, research is being carried out on the development of a suitable method for recording the maximum immission under these new conditions. However, the determination of the maximum possible immission through all possible beam configurations presents immission measurement technology, together with other innovations in 5G, with considerable challenges. As part of a project funded by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, research is being carried out on the development of a suitable method for recording the maximum immission under these new conditions.

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