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Engineering >> 2022, Volume 8, Issue 1 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2021.07.016

Joint Modulations of Electromagnetic Waves and Digital Signals on A Single Metasurface Platform to Reach Programmable Wireless Communications

a The State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
b National Mobile Communications Research Lab, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
c Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe 76131, Germany

Received:2020-12-31 Revised:2021-07-12 Accepted: 2021-07-18 Available online:2021-09-15

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In current wireless communication and electronic systems, digital signals and electromagnetic (EM) radiation are processed by different modules. Here, we propose a mechanism to fuse the modulation of digital signals and the manipulation of EM radiation on a single programmable metasurface. The programmable metasurface consists of massive subwavelength-scale digital coding elements. A set of digital states of all elements forms simultaneous digital information roles for modulation and the wave-control sequence code of the programmable metasurface. By designing digital coding sequences in the spatial and temporal domains, the digital information and far-field patterns of the programmable metasurface can be programmed simultaneously and instantly in desired ways. For the experimental demonstration of the mechanism, we present a programmable wireless communication system. The same system can realize transmissions of digital information in single-channel modes with beam-steerable capability and multichannel modes with multiple independent information. The measured results show the excellent performance of the programmable system. This work provides excellent prospects for applications in fifth- or sixth-generation wireless communications and modern intelligent platforms for unmanned aircrafts and vehicles.


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