The role of Space-time Coding(STC)
Once fabricated, the characteristics and structure of the traditional antennas are almost impossible to change.
However, space-time coding can alter the direction, frequency, and amplitude of the electromagnetic waves from the new-generation antenna, known as a “sideband-free (STC) metasurface antenna.” This enables great flexibility for users.
This revolutionary feature utilizes metasurfaces – special ultra-thin materials made of many tiny meta-atoms. This can be done by manipulating the current to power them to switch the meta-atoms between radiating and non-radiating states – acting like an array of switches modifying its response in real time!
The STC metasurface antenna can harness and manipulate complicated electromagnetic waves in space and frequency domains by utilizing software control. This enables it to generate a precisely tailored beam with any desired radiation pattern.
Successful combination of two research advances
Professor Chan Chi-Hou, Chair Professor of Electronic Engineering and an Acting Provost at CityU, confirmed that the antenna is a successful collaboration of space-time coding techniques and amplitude-modulated (AM) leaky wave antennas.
In 2020, the AM leaky-wave antennas concept was first proposed by Dr. Wu Geng at CityU, a postdoctoral fellow in the State Key Laboratory of Terahertz. This concept offers an analytical method for creating antennas with the necessary emission patterns for various niche applications by merely altering the antennas’ structure and form.