News and events - Tampere University of Technology

In the new issue of Interface: Next generation of super-efficient base stations

TUT’s English-language science magazine Interface has updated its look. The newest issue presents a brand new kind of 5G transmitter that is 20 times as powerful as its predecessors, covers the newest developments in the fields of photonics and circular economy, and much more!
Prototype of the integrated base station transmitter. Photo: Aalto University.
Prototype of the integrated base station transmitter. Photo: Aalto University.

The number of mobile devices in use is growing rapidly, which is why the coverage area of a single base station for mobile communication systems must be reduced in the future. New base stations are smaller than their predecessors but located more densely. Together with Nokia Bell Labs, researchers from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Aalto University have developed a new type of 5G radio transmitter for use in future base stations.

The operating principle of the new radio transmitter is as digital as possible: the signal is not converted into analogue format until in the transmitter’s final amplifier stage.

“Other similar technology will definitely be introduced over the next 2 to 3 years. The newly developed 5G base station transmitter prototype will introduce new opportunities for modifying and programming the transmitted radio signals. The quality of the signal will improve, as well,” says Mikko Valkama, Professor of Communications Engineering at TUT.

A few photons are enough

Interface presents some of the newest developments in the field of photonics. Professor Mircea Guina’s research group is developing light-based technologies and enabling applications that, until now, have been little more than dreams.

“Our goal is to replace electrons with photons. Light-based data transfer has much smaller signal losses than current electronics, meaning that just a few photons are enough.  Devices get smaller, more stable, and consume less energy,” Professor Guina explains.

Assistant Professor Arri Priimägi gives the Smart Photonic Materials research team’s latest updates in the field of materials that can be moved with light. One of the team’s development projects is an artificial iris that controls the amount of light by opening and closing itself, just like the iris in the human eye. Currently, their most advanced project is a grabbing polymer grip, which Priimägi compares to a Venus flytrap.

Circular economy is inevitable

The world has reached a stage where we have no choice but to update our notions of how we consume, how enterprises make profit, and how they create jobs, writes Mari Pantsar, director of Sitra’s Resource-wise and carbon-neutral society project and member of TUT Board, in her column. Finland has every opportunity to become a global pioneer in circular economy and find new competitiveness from this fast-growing international market.

“Research and education are the two most important elements of circular economy. Most of the central factors of circular economy are already well represented on TUT’s agenda,” Pantsar says.

One of TUT’s experts in circular economy is microbiologist Praveen Ramasamy, whose research has concentrated on the bioproducts produced by algae. In practice, these bioproducts amount to bio-oil that is processed into biodiesel and the pigment-like astaxanthin, which is incredibly valuable.

Many of the critical issues in the world concern access to clean water. The CADWES Research Group, who are taking part in Finland’s centenary celebrations, present some of TUT’s expertise in the field of water services.

Read these and more TUT news in the newest issue of Interface and subscribe to our newsletter!

News submitted by: Riku Haapaniemi
Keywords: science and research, services and collaboration, working at tut, interface, energy