March 29, 2021
The European Commission has evaluated and highlighted an innovation developed in the TERAmeasure research project as part of its Innovation Radar. According to the EU experts' analysis, the TERAmeasure innovation "Ultra-wideband continuous frequency measurement (30GHz to 3THz) using a photonic vector network analyzer (VNA)" covers the needs of existing markets and has the potential to be "business ready" by the end of the project. Furthermore, the European Comission has distinguished the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) together with its project partners Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology as "Key Innovators".
The goal of the EU-funded TERAmeasure project is to create a universal, broadband and contact-free measurement and sensor platform for the millimeter-wave (mmW) and terahertz (THz) frequency range. As an innovative approach, this project utilizes photonic integration technology and silicon micromachining. The innovation highlighted by the Innovation Radar can provides a photonic-enabled solution for broadband continuous-wave THz measurements. Using this photonic approach, researchers aim to develop a new class of vector network analyzers (VNAs) for contact-free device characterization that covers the mmW and THz frequency bands (from 30 GHz to 3 THz). Hereby, TERAmeasure helps to characterize devices in the mmW and THz spectral range with a single novel measurement head. Previously, more than ten separate measurement heads were required to perform this task. This will open up the potential for a wide range of applications for contact-free, broadband and phase-sensitive measurements.
Two different research groups from the department "Photonic Components" at Fraunhofer HHI are involved in the TERAmeasure research work. The Terahertz Sensor Systems group develops a mmW/THz transceiver based on waveguide-integrated optoelectronic components. The Hybrid PICs group works on photonic integrated circuits (PICs) based on PolyBoard hybrid integration technology for optical signal generation and on-chip frequency calibration.
With the EU Commission's evaluation result, the innovation "Ultra-wideband continuous frequency measurement (30GHz to 3THz) using a photon-based VNA" is now ranked among the innovations presented on the EU Innovation Radar platform. This platform draws on information and data collected by independent experts involved in the review of ongoing research and innovation projects funded by the European Commission. The expert panel also provides an independent perspective on the innovations pioneered in the projects and their market potential.
Besides Fraunhofer HHI, the TERAmeasure project consortium consists of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Madrid, Spain; coordinator), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), Anritsu EMEA Ltd. (Luton, United Kingdom), and Protemics GmbH (Aachen, Germany).