NIST Discovers How to Expand 5G Use With ‘Smart’ Antennas, Narrow Beams

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a method to design “smart” antennas that use narrow beams and provide lower signal interference, delays and energy loss during transmissions.

NIST said Monday, the method utilizes narrow beams to rapidly send signals in different directions and support 5G wireless devices and base stations. It also enables system designers and engineers to select appropriate antenna beamwidths and the antenna that best suits a specific application. 

“Our new method could reduce costs by enabling greater success with initial network design, eliminating much of the trial and error that is now required,” said Kate Remley, a NIST engineer.

NIST said its new method came from a study that also confirmed that narrow beams can significantly reduce signal interference and delays, mainly reducing time interval during signal reflections from 15 nanoseconds to nearly 1.4 nanoseconds.

Researchers plan to conduct another study to use the antenna evaluation method in different environments and to see other wireless channel characteristics.

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