Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Scientists want to use people as antennas to power 6G

    We don’t yet know exactly how 6G wireless technology will work. But researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst believe that using humans as antennas to power 6G may be the most viable way to get the extra power that would otherwise go to waste.

    In an ongoing effort to speed up the exchange of information, scientists have begun to investigate Visible Light Communication (VLC), which is basically a wireless version of fiber optics, which uses flashes of light to transmit information. uses. The addition of VLC to 6G encouraged the UMass Amherst team to dig even deeper.

    First, some background on 6G. To refresh your memory, 5G, which is considered to be the fifth and latest generation of cellular broadband networks, is still in its infancy. True 5G networks operate on millimeter wave frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz, which is 10 to 100 times higher than previous 4G cellular networks. (However, some mobile providers cheat by claiming the high end of the 4G spectrum as 5G.)

    These cell generations are defined by a world association known as 3gpp, Given the history of the never-ending march of technology, it is inevitable that 5G will be replaced by a new network in the future. What is not entirely clear is what 6G will be.

    Meanwhile, in the new study, scientists at UMass Amherst found that humans can play a key role in boosting the effectiveness of VLCs by using their bodies as coiled copper carriers to capture residual energy from VLCs. Lead author of the study, Ji Xiong Professor of Informatics and Computing at UMass Amherst, explains:

    “VLC is quite simple and interesting. Instead of using radio signals to send information wirelessly, it uses light from LEDs that can flash a million times per second.”

    The LED bulbs can then transmit data, says Xiong, and “anything with a camera, like our smartphones, tablets or laptops, can be the receiver.”

    The drawback of VLC is the high rate of “leakage” of energy that occurs when emitting side channel radio wave signals. Researchers believe that if they can harvest the wasted radio frequency (RF) energy, they can put it to good use powering tiny electronic devices.

    After experimenting with wires, coils, and backgrounds, scientists realized that the human body provided the best means – 10 times better than any other tested environment – of the copper coil’s ability to pick up filtered RF energy to step up. Next, they created the Bracelet+, an inexpensive device worn on the forearm but which can be attached to a ring, belt, or necklace to collect lost energy. According to the team, the bracelet+’s copper wires can deliver up to microwatts, enough to power body-worn health-monitoring sensors that require very little power to operate.

    Coupling copper coils with VLC systems uses humans as antennas to power the technology they use.

    “Ultimately,” says Xiong, “we want to be able to harvest waste energy from all kinds of sources for future technology.”

Nation World News Desk
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