Indore: 5G antenna testing now possible in SGSITS, first such facility in Madhya Pradesh

Indore: State’s first Advanced RF (Radio Frequency) and Microwave Laboratory or in simple words antenna testing laboratory is being developed at Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science (SGSITS). This is the first laboratory in Madhya Pradesh that will allow engineers to test their antennas without having to travel to Delhi or Roorkee.

An anechoic chamber has been developed for 20 GHz frequency range for the antenna as well as microwave components measurement and design.

“The biggest problem faced by people today is limitations in data range, and now that we are hoping to deliver 5G next, we need to be able handle such a range,” Dr Shekhar Sharma, head of Electronics & Telecomm department of SGSITS, said. He explained that data range faces a limitation as we need advanced antennas to support the MIMO (multiple input, multiple output).

MIMO is an antenna technology for wireless communications in which multiple antennas are used at both the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver). The antennas at each end of the communications circuit are combined to minimise errors and optimise data speed.

“In order to provide 5G networks, both antenna developing engineers and technology experts have to work together, which is possible in an institute,” Sharma said. Amalgamating both the departments, they had been working on developing the required technology.

“Now, the biggest challenge is testing the antenna, as it required a proper laboratory and facility,” Sharma said. Only some IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) have these laboratories.

“IIT Indore or other institutes in the state do not have this facility, so we had to travel to Delhi or Roorkee for testing, which is not only time consuming but reduces the chance of fixing the issue in time,” Sharma said.

With regular attempts from Prof RK Saxena, institute director, SGSITS recently received sponsoring All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi as well as TEQIP Phase III NPIU Project for the laboratory and hopes to deliver the antennas and pioneer in developing the same for supporting 5G networks in the coming months.

Dr RK Jain is heading the testing laboratory. “5G network cell towers can support dozens of antennas in MIMO configuration in comparison to 4G LTE network cells which support maximum of 8 transmitters and 4 receivers,” he said.

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