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Title: 'THz Torch' technology : secure thermal infrared wireless communications using engineered blackbody radiation
Author: Hu, Fangjing
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 9131
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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The thermal (emitted) infrared frequency bands, from 20 to 40 THz and 60 to 100 THz, are best known for applications in thermography. This underused and unregulated part of the spectral range offers opportunities for the development of secure communications. The 'THz Torch' concept, operating between the THz and mid-infrared ranges, was recently introduced. This technology fundamentally exploits engineered blackbody radiation, by partitioning thermally-generated spectral power into pre-defined frequency channels; the energy in each channel is then independently pulsed modulated to create a robust form of short-range secure communications in the far/mid-infrared. In the thesis, the development of 'THz Torch' wireless communications systems will first be introduced. State-of-the-art THz technologies, infrared sources and detectors, as well as near-infrared and visible light communications technologies, will be reviewed in Chapter 2. Basic single-channel architecture of the 'THz Torch' technology will be presented in Chapter 3. Fundamental limits for the first single-channel proof-of-concept demonstrator will be discussed, and possible engineering solutions will be proposed and verified experimentally. With such improvements, to date, octave bandwidth (25 to 50 THz) single-channel wireless links have been demonstrated with >2 kbit/s data rate and >10 cm transmission distance. To further increase the overall end-to-end data rate and/or the level of security, multiplexing schemes for 'THz Torch' technologies are proposed in Chapter 4. Both frequency division multiplexing (FDM) and frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) working demonstrators, operating between 10 and 100 THz spectral range, will be implemented. With such 4-channel multiplexing schemes, measured bit error rates (BERs) of < 10⁻⁶ have been achieved over a transmission distance of 2.5 cm. Moreover, the integrity of such 4-channel multiplexing system is evaluated by introducing four jamming, interception and channel crosstalk experiments. Chapter 5 gives a detailed power link budget analysis for the 4-channel multiplexing system. The design, simulation and measurement of scalable THz metal mesh filters, which have potential applications for multi-channel 'THz Torch' technology, will be presented in Chapter 6. The conclusions and further work are summarised in the last chapter. It is expected that this thermodynamics-based approach represents a new paradigm in the sense that 19th century physics can be exploited with 20th century multiplexing concepts for low cost 21st century ubiquitous security and defence applications in the thermal infrared range.
Supervisor: Lucyszyn, Stepan Sponsor: China Scholarship Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available