Welcome to T-KOS

Project T-KOS – Terahertz Technologies for Communication and Sensor Technology

In our digitalized high-tech living and working world, the availability of communication and data connections is a basic requirement. Due to the increasing mobility of users, the flexible use of broadband multimedia content (e.g. entertainment, medicine, and logistics) and future technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IOT) or autonomous driving, both data volume in mobile networks and demand on communication networks are growing. One promising option for increasing data capacity and usable bandwidth is the additional use of terahertz technologies. This forms the basis for innovation not only in the area of radio systems, but also in the area of non-destructive testing (NDT). Terahertz waves can penetrate most electrically non-conductive materials, such as ceramics or plastics, in a manner analogous to ultrasound and X-ray, but can be significantly more advantageous, because, for example, they do not require a coupling medium or radiation protection measures.

Although terahertz radiation is predestined for a wide range of applications, such as in security technology, quality assurance or materials testing, its industrial introduction has so far failed due to the lack of availability of inexpensive, fast, and high-resolution systems with optimized, AI-based image recognition algorithms. This is where the "T-KOS" project, initiated by the Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD) and funded with 10 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, comes in.

Project goals

In the T-KOS project, terahertz technology is now to be synergetically developed for industry in the fields of communication and sensor technology for the first time. For this purpose, the technological competences for communication and sensor technology of the Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD) are combined with the expertise of the Fraunhofer ITWM. Terahertz radiation is being researched with a view to its possible use in industry. Three overarching project goals are being pursued:

  1. Industrially suitable terahertz communication and sensor technology by combining scalable electronic and photonic concepts.
  2. Inline monitoring of production processes with AI-based, real-time imaging processing for resource-efficient production.
  3. Application of terahertz communication in industrial production

Development paths

These project goals are to be achieved through joint developments and the targeted use of synergies in the research fields of high-frequency electronics, terahertz photonics and wireless, high-bit-rate communications. The project is organized along three parallel development paths, which are interconnected at key points. For each of the paths a demonstrator is realized.


1. Terahertz Photonics

For broadband, spatially and depth resolved sensing and imaging.


2. Terahertz Line Scan Camera

For real-time industrial imaging.


3. Terahertz Communication

High-bit-rate electronic and photonic radio links at carrier frequencies around 300 GHz and broadband channel characterization.

Project information

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer FHR, Wachtberg (network coordinator)
  • Fraunhofer ENAS, Chemnitz
  • Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin
  • Fraunhofer IAF, Freiburg
  • Fraunhofer IMS, Duisburg
  • Fraunhofer IPMS, Dresden
  • Fraunhofer ITWM, Kaiserslautern
  • Fraunhofer IZM, Berlin
  • Research Fab Microelectronics Germany FMD, Berlin
  • Ferdinand-Braun-Institut gGmbH/Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin
  • IHP GmbH/Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics, Frankfurt/Oder