Technical Panel: Terahertz Communications: Challenges and Opportunities for Defense and Commercial Applications
Tuesday, October 30, 2018: 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Terahertz (THz) communication is envisioned as a key wireless technology of the next decade, which can address multiple relevant challenges in defense and commercial applications. First and foremost, the THz band supports huge transmission bandwidths (from hundreds of GHz up to a few THz), which can enable, for the first time, wireless Terabit-per-second (Tbps) links and opens the door to transformative applications, including massive-data sharing for real-time monitoring, decision and actuation in human-machine cyber-physical systems in ground, air and space. In addition, the THz band remains almost completely unutilized for communication; hence, being the first to exploit this band provides an unmatched technological advantage. Moreover, contrary to common conceptions, high atmospheric absorption can be leveraged to create intrinsically secure channels. For many years, the lack of compact high-power THz sources and high-sensitivity detectors able to work at room temperature limited the applications of the THz band beyond sensing. Recently, major progress in terms of electronic, photonic and plasmonic technologies for THz transceivers and antennas are finally closing the so-called THz gap. Nevertheless, in order to realize practical THz communication systems, there are several challenges that need to be addressed, ranging from system integration to communication and networking architecture and protocol design. To address these challenges, a joint effort from all the agents involved in the development of this field (device technologists, communication and networking experts, and regulation entities) is required. The two-fold mission of this panel is, first, to present the state of the art and ongoing research activities in THz communication networks, including device technology development, system integration, channel characterization, and network architecture and protocol design; and, second, to reach a consensus in the next steps towards the development of this novel networking paradigm. The ultimate goal will be the development of a position paper by the participants in the panel.