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.