Exploring the Frontier of Testing and Measurement: Unlocking 67GHz of Bandwidth

Feb 20, 2024

RFOptic expands bandwidth of its RFoF test and measurement products to 67GHz enabling more remote antenna, more 5G/6G Fronthaul, and more Remote Radio Head applications.

Communication over mm-Waves and 67GHz

Traditionally, mm-Waves (30GHz to 300GHz) are used for military and scientific applications due to their ability to transmit vast amounts of data due to their shorter wavelength and wider available bandwidth. Recently, the ample available bandwidth and minimal interference have become attractive to communication applications as demand for information throughput has increased. Various sub-bands are now developed for cellular and other communication applications. 

Due to higher absorption in the atmosphere, the operation of communication links in these short wavelengths requires finer beam forming. This, in turn, calls for massive MIMO antenna arrays. These arrays use a large number of small antennas to form narrow beams for efficient linking to the subscriber. The large number of feeds and wide bandwidths make the common CPRI and its next-generation eCPRI digital solutions impractical. However, RF links over fiber can deliver the throughput and distance required for such applications. 

RFOptic’s 20GHz, 40GHz, and 67GHz RFoF, when combined with Dense Wavelength Multiplexing (DWDM) over lightweight fiber bundles, easily handle the information throughput, bandwidth, and dynamic range needed for MIMO antenna array towers.

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and 67GHz

Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are crucial in ensuring seamless wireless communication in shielded areas as well as areas with high subscriber density, such as stadiums, airports, and urban environments. 5G mm-Wave, femto, pico, and nano cells are available with throughputs exceeding 10Gbps. Numerous such cells are distributed in the covered area to ensure that every subscriber has a line-of-sight path to a cell at all times. 

These small cells provide access points for subscribers requiring extreme bandwidth, which is exactly where RFoF technology excels. RFOptic’s 40GHz and 67GHz links are a natural solution for the aggregation or distribution of such signals and ensure optimal network performance. 

Satcom: Connecting Beyond Horizons

Satellite communications (satcom) play a pivotal role in global connectivity, enabling communication in remote areas and facilitating data transmission for various applications, including weather, military, and other operations. 

RFOptic‘s 67GHz RFoF links enable the use of mm-waves and specifically enable a form of “secure communication” around the 60GHz frequency. This is due to the fact that oxygen strongly absorbs 60Ghz signals (16dB/km) and naturally limits the range that an eavesdropper can use to listen in on the signal. 

The 57GHz and 64 GHz are unlicensed communication bands with 7GHz bandwidth, offering robust and efficient communication channels.

Exploring the Cosmos: Radio Telescopes and 67GHz

Radio telescopes are astronomical instruments designed to detect radio-frequency emissions from celestial objects. The shorter wavelength of 67GHz enables radio telescopes to capture finer details in cosmic phenomena. This is particularly valuable in fields such as radio astronomy, where the ability to discern subtle features in distant galaxies or pulsars can provide critical insights into the nature of the universe.

Bridging Distances: Long RF Links via Fiber

The high 67GHz frequency enables transmission of large amounts of data over fiber optic cables. This minimizes signal loss, maximizes bandwidth, and enables very long-distance communications using radio frequency over fiber (RFoF) links. Integrating 67GHz in long RFoF links represents a paradigm shift in the efficiency and reliability of such communication systems.

This is particularly advantageous in scenarios where high data transfer rates are crucial, such as in data centers, telecommunications networks, and other applications requiring robust, long-distance connectivity.

Electronic Warfare: The Spectrum as a Battlefield

In the realm of electronic warfare, the electromagnetic spectrum is a contested domain. The use of 67GHz in electronic warfare testing and measurement empowers military strategists to assess and enhance the performance of electronic countermeasure systems.

The ability to simulate and analyze electronic warfare scenarios at 67GHz provides a realistic testing environment for radar jamming, signal interception, and other electronic warfare tactics. The characteristics of this frequency enable the development of more sophisticated and resilient electronic warfare solutions, contributing to the ongoing evolution of defense technologies.

Conclusion: Unleashing the Potential of 67GHz

In conclusion, the integration of 67GHz in testing and measurement processes represents a significant advancement across various technological domains. From distributed antenna systems to satellite communications, radio telescopes, antenna remoting, long RF links over fiber, and electronic warfare, the applications of 67GHz are diverse and transformative.

As we continue to explore the capabilities of higher frequencies, the impact of 67GHz on testing and measurement technologies underscores its potential to revolutionize how we understand and optimize complex systems. The journey into the uncharted territories of 67GHz is not just a technological endeavor; it's a gateway to unlocking new frontiers of innovation and discovery.

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