/Joint Communication and Sensing at sub-THz Frequencies

Joint Communication and Sensing at sub-THz Frequencies

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

You will exploit high-throughput communication infrastructure to sense the environment

To support the continuous throughput increase in wireless communication, higher and higher frequencies are considered, including sub-THz bands (between 100 and 300 GHz), where a wide bandwidth is available. The related short wavelengths also enable large antenna arrays to be integrated, offering beamforming gains and MIMO capabilities. Simultaneously, those frequencies are also considered for radar or sensing applications, where they can offer a better range and angular resolution.

While communication infrastructure is being widely expanded and deployed, this is less the case for radar, hence the concept of joint communication and sensing (JC&S) has emerged, suggesting to reuse this communication infrastructure for sensing, rather than having to deploy standalone radar systems. This has obvious benefits in cost and energy savings, but also opens the door to new applications by combining both systems. Furthermore, this concept poses specific challenges in the sub-THz bands, both at system level and hardware level.

In this PhD, we want to build on IMEC 's large experience in both communication and radar to design future sub-THz JC&S systems supporting new applications. The following questions will be investigated:

  • How can we sense the environment using communication systems without degrading the performance of the communication?
  • Can we improve communication systems thanks to sensing information (faster beam acquisition thanks to environment knowledge, better allocation between users and access points, preventing link blockage, ...)?
  • How shall we design signals and share resources between communications and sensing?
  • What are the synergies related to hardware architectures?

The proposed JC&S techniques will be mapped on the sub-THz hardware platform developed by IMEC.

The successful PhD candidate will be part of a large IMEC team working on the research, implementation and prototyping of future communications and radar systems: experts in digital, analog and mm-wave ASIC design, communications systems, radar systems, processing and machine learning. This is a unique opportunity to develop innovative, multi-disciplinary technology and shape future wireless and sensing networks. You will publish your research in top-level journals and conferences.

Required background: Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing for Communications, knowledge of radar is a plus. Proficiency in Matlab and/or Python.

Type of work: 20% literature/theory, 60% modelling/simulation, 20% design/experimental

Supervisor: Sofie Pollin

Daily advisor: Claude Desset, Andre Bourdoux

The reference code for this position is 2024-084. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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