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Terahertz breakthrough clears path for advanced communications sensors

01 August 2012

DARPA researchers have created the world’s first solid state receiver to demonstrate gain at 0.85 terahertz (THz) heralding the possibility of 1.03THz integrated circuits.

Previous research milestones have included demonstrations at 0.67THz. Operating at these high frequencies enables a host of electronics capabilities for specialised applications in the defence sector, such as advanced communication and sensor systems.

“Realising circuits at 0.85THz is a remarkable achievement for the programme and is the latest success from a long-term investment in frequency-scaled RF transistors,” says John Albrecht, DARPA programme manager. “The ability to coherently process signals at 0.85THz provides a means to generate and radiate the high frequency signals needed for applications such as DARPA’s Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR) programme.

“ViSAR seeks to develop and demonstrate a targeting sensor which operates through clouds as effectively as today’s infrared (IR) sensors operate in clear weather.”


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