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Valuable Tool for Telecommunications Industry Research
CEA-Leti said today that it is making its new anechoic chamber available to businesses and researchers from private and academic research labs.
The controlled environment allows precise measurement of the electromagnetic fields of wireless communication systems. The electromagnetic shielding in the 20-meter-long, 12-meter-high, 12-meter-wide metallic structure provides upwards of 90dB of electromagnetic interference attenuation. The size and placement of the insulation materials lining its interior maximize its ability to absorb even small levels of electromagnetic waves (starting at just a few dozen MHz).
This makes it possible to simulate free-space propagation and avoid parasitic reflections, which result in dramatically improved precision when measuring the electromagnetic spectrum below 1GHz. This capacity for measurement at such low levels puts this tool in a class of its own. Test objects are placed six meters above the ground on a rotating platform measuring four meters in diameter that can support up to two tons.
Easily configured to meet varying project needs
The size and technical specifications of the chamber make it a unique resource for businesses as well as private and academic research labs. It is housed in the Integrative Industries Building (B2I) on the MINATEC campus in Grenoble and can easily be reconfigured to meet the varying needs of different projects.
The new instrument will not only prove useful for the research teams at CEA-Leti, but also for those in the telecommunications industry. For example, it can be programmed to determine the far-field characteristics of a dormant antenna, or an actively transmitting one, at as little as 100MHz. Until now, experiments at those frequencies were conducted primarily outdoors and were limited to military, aeronautic, astronautic, and automotive applications.
Competition for ‘golden frequencies'
The transition from analogue to digital television has sparked competition and debate concerning the use of the resulting net gain in available radio frequencies (commonly referred to as the digital dividend). These "golden frequencies" are considered to be particularly suited to the wave propagation of mobile communication and other wireless systems.
As the number of wireless applications destined for the consumer market increases, so does the need for an experiment environment that can adapt to the characteristics of those frequencies. This shift places this "electromagnetic-echoless" chamber squarely at the forefront of global telecommunications research.
CEA is a French research and technology public organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC campus, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m² state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200mm and 300mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,500 patent families.
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