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TUMESA - Overview

The project focuses on development of tuneable metamaterials and metasurfaces based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and their integration to smart wireless systems such as radar, secure high-capacity communication systems, radio astronomy, atmospheric remote sensing, spectroscopy, etc.

MEMS allow miniaturisation of electronic components, reduce their cost in batch production and effectively compete with semiconductor and ferroelectric based technologies in terms of losses at millimetre wavelengths. Metamaterials provide a way to design devices with unique and engineered electromagnetic properties. The advantage of convergence between MEMS and metamaterials is ability to create novel miniaturized reconfigurable low-loss and cost-effective wireless devices with innovative self-adapting mechanisms.

In addition to industrial and technological objectives, a number of socio-economic challenges urge research in smart wireless applications. EU authorities have launched a program to reduce fatal road accidents by 50% by 2010, with the focus on driver assistance and on-board safety systems for accident reduction, including automotive radar. For this purpose, the European Telecommunication Standard Institute ETSI has already produced a standard for automotive radar in the 79 GHz range.

The main objectives of the project are: to develop novel on-chip phase shifting and beam-steering devices based on MEMS tuneable high-impedance surfaces; to integrate developed phase shifting components in novel space-efficient antenna arrays on a single chip; to elaborate novel concepts of implementation of beam-steering devices and antenna arrays in cost-efficient radar sensor and future high-capacity wireless communication systems and evaluate fabricated prototypes at a system level.