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World's first tunable broadband Radio Frequency device emerges

A team of researchers from the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia's iTEAM in Spain has created the first, tunable broadband radio frequency (RF) photonic phase shifter. Because it is based on a single semiconductor element, the device will be cheap to manufacture and help save up to 80% on energy consumption.




Experts say optical phase shifters for RF signals are important components for the installation of hybrid broadband telecommunication systems. They combine optic fibre transmission and radio transmission. They are the basis of convergence between networks, a required step for either accessing the Internet or swapping the orientation of radar and satellite antennas.

According to the researchers, there are several applications of the phase shifter, including radio astronomy and terrestrial satellites, as well as radar antennas, ultra wideband communications, radio link systems and RF applications for automobiles. These applications help boost the flow of information transmission, effectively mitigating traffic and guaranteeing the best performance of the entire communication system.


Perhaps this will open the way to software defined radio communications, utilizing "dead" bandwidth, frequencies that aren't used by other transmissions, which might well become part of the user owned mesh networks that some see as becoming the ubiquitous carrier of a new layer at the edges of the internet...

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Not sure if anyone's seen GNUradio @ http://gnuradio.org

Software tunable radio hardware that is already being/has been developed. Very informative website also. Of course these are just receivers afaik, not transmitters. Very good article, thanks.




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