Research Projects


Characterization of Dynamic Acoustic Environments by Machine Learning for Sound Reproduction (DYNAMIC)

2022-2025 - Area: Signal Processing - Group: Audio and Communications Signal Processing Group (GTAC) - Budget : 60.000€

VISION: Sounds will be rendered to the users at any location and any time, efficiently, with the help of low-cost devices, maximizing the user’s quality-of-experience.  

OBJECTIVE: To investigate on sound space control applications in real and dynamic environments using inference and classification tools based on novel machine and deep learning techniques, aiming at maximum performance, energy efficiency and feasibility.    



2020-2021 - Area: Antennas, Microwaves and Propagation - Group: Microwave Applications Group (GAM) - Budget : 149993.67€

The main objective of the project is to carry out the necessary actions so that the patent “Manufacturing method of microwave device based on empty waveguide integrated into substrate” can be transferred with guarantees of success to companies for subsequent exploitation . The object of the patent was the development of a new technique for the manufacture of high-frequency communications devices that is based on three pillars:
  • The use of substrate-integrated waveguide technology, which allows the development of a very wide range of communications devices: transmission lines, filters, resonators, power dividers, hybrids, phase shifters, antennas, etc. integrated into a planar substrate (low cost), but presenting the good performance of traditional devices developed in waveguide.
  • The use of 3D printing with polymeric materials (plastics) subsequently metallized for the manufacture of communication devices. Polymeric materials are lighter than the metals traditionally used and 3D manufacturing allows for much faster prototyping than traditional methods. Furthermore, the precision obtained with these manufacturing methods is very high. On the other hand, communications devices must be conductive to be able to handle high-frequency signals. Therefore, devices manufactured with 3D printing, if they are polymeric, must be metallized with copper or another high-conductive material, ensuring quality and durability. of that metallization just as the patented method does.
  • The modular integration of the developed devices into a complex circuit or system. This integration is achieved thanks to transitions with the rest of the circuit and an anchoring system with screws that allows the device to be easily assembled with the rest of the circuitry, changing it for another if the application requires it or if it is damaged due to some reason, without needing to modify the rest of the circuit.



2022-2024 - Area: Antennas, Microwaves and Propagation - Group: Microwave Applications Group (GAM) - Budget : 224346.52€

Current radio communication systems are facing the progressive saturation of the electromagnetic spectrum which, together with increasingly higher bandwidth requirements (transmission speeds), is forcing systems to migrate towards higher frequency bands. Although there are numerous technologies for the manufacture of communications devices, their commercial success requires great efficiency in terms of cost and mass production along with adequate electromagnetic performance. Additive manufacturing technologies allow for a very wide spectrum of volumetric topologies, in addition to reducing manufacturing time, weight and cost compared to traditional metal milling processes. To provide the device with electrical conductivity, it must be metallized, therefore requiring efficient techniques for this purpose. For this reason, first a wide range of structures are designed to provide comprehensive solutions to the industry. Next, the use of new materials and manufacturing technologies is analyzed to adapt to the needs of the industry. Finally, new metallization processes and finishes are developed to facilitate the required conductivity of these radio frequency communications devices for terrestrial, maritime and space applications. It is estimated that the use of additive manufacturing technologies for these applications will provide devices up to 10 times lighter, drastically reduce waste compared to machining metal parts, and allow parts to be manufactured that are impossible to make with traditional techniques. CAFTAM is a collaborative experimental development project, led by the Institute of Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications (ITEAM) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), who will contribute their experience in the design and optimization of high-frequency communications circuits (filters, antennas, dividers, etc.). AIJU will develop the selected devices by applying high surface and dimensional quality through various additive manufacturing technologies, the Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIC-ITQ) will carry out innovative mixed, chemical and galvanic catalytic metallizing processes on the developed parts. The participating company DISMUNTEL, with experience and knowledge in the field of RFID and control electronics, will contribute to the proposal of the challenge by the industry in the field of telecommunications and in verifying the correct functionality of the devices developed in the real scope. This collaboration is part of a research project funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI) within the Strategic Cooperation Projects Program.



2023-2026 - Area: Antennas, Microwaves and Propagation - 2 Research Groups

FURTHER-SAT project is focused on all available high-frequency technologies: the more classical ones, based on planar circuits and waveguides, the more novel integrated planar waveguides with/without dielectric substrate (i.e., the substrate integrated waveguide -SIW- and their empty versions ESIW and ESICL), and the promising concept of groove gap waveguides. Advanced materials (such as artificial ones -metamaterials-, liquid crystals and high-permittivity ceramics), as well as manufacturing techniques (e.g., high-accuracy milling, additive fabrication methods, Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramics -LTCC- and micromachining processes), are also investigated.  


Advancing on Waveguide Technologies for Near-Future Satellite Communication Equipment (ADWASAT)

These include instantaneous and ubiquitous Telecommunication services (high-quality voice and high-speed data, as well as TV and radio signals broadcasting), global radio-navigation satellite systems like the Galileo (Europe) and GPS (USA) ones, as well as Earth Observation programs (e.g. Copernicus and Living Planet sponsored by the European Commission -EC- and European Space Agency -ESA) focused on security, environmental and climate change issues. Even the newcomers' 5G and 6G mobile terrestrial networks will be reinforced through satellite-based infrastructure. As a result, worldwide citizens (and particularly European and Spanish ones) are strongly benefitted in terms of economic growth, social welfare, scientific breakthroughs, and technological advances. Presently, the European Space Program is being pushed (by ESA, EC, and the industrial sector) through next-generation satellites serving major spatial projects, such as the Galileo second and METEOSAT third generations, the forthcoming five Sentinel missions and the EarthCARE satellite of the Copernicus and Living Planet programs, and the new Telecom satellite product lines named Spacebus and Eurostar Neo. Moreover, mega-constellations of small satellites (SpaceX and OneWeb projects) providing ubiquitous Internet connectivity to consumers and devices, are also under full deployment. Advanced satellite communication links, based on novel high-frequency equipment (passive components and antennas) using emergent technologies, will be established among spacecrafts and Earth stations/terminals. Therefore, as it is also suggested by the major Space sector players (i.e. ESA, as well as multi-national and Spanish companies), novel solutions for high-frequency passive devices and radiating elements must be devised and engineered. They will have to address multiple and interdisciplinary challenges, in terms of electrical size (compactness), adaptive frequency and spectral bandwidth resources (reconfigurability), increased transmission power levels (dealing with discharge and inter-modulation effects), and manufacturing feasibility (accuracy and repeatability issues). Additionally, these requirements will have to be properly tackled in a huge set of frequency ranges (covering the RF, microwave, mm- and sub-mm wave bands). To this end, a coordinated project (of acronym IMPULSE) to be carried out by a team of five academic research groups (with successful previous collaborations) is proposed. Four complementary sub-projects will jointly develop top-notch research on innovative satellite communication equipment, considering traditional and emerging high-frequency technologies: i.e. those based on planar circuits and 3Dwaveguide structures, hybrid solutions (planar waveguides implemented in dielectric and emptied substrates), and the recently proposed set of gap waveguides. Advanced and tuneable materials (such as bioplastics, graphene, and liquid crystal), together with classical (milling, LTCC) and more recent (additive manufacturing, micro-machining) fabrication techniques, will be also researched. This subproject, acting as coordinator of the project and participant teams, in addition to overview of the joint work on CAE tools (analysis, synthesis, and optimization methods), and on the integrated demonstrator for a Ka-band multiple beams output stage, contributes to advance on the practical use of several waveguide technologies for space communications. In particular, more focus is put into the coaxial Substrate Integrated Waveguide (SIW) technology, folded and ridged topologies of the empty SIW (ESIW) version, and mechanically tuneable components (mainly filters and diplexers) using 3D waveguide cavities. Practical implementation of prototypes using LTCC and 3D printing (with metalized resins) techniques, as well as experimental validation of equipment (high-frequency effects and communication experiments with small satellites), are also tackled.



In the new generation of wireless communications systems in the millimeter band, reconfigurable antennas are becoming an essential technological pillar, as they must compensate for the high propagation losses at high frequencies. As a consequence, the development of new high-performance terminals for moving vehicles, trains, airplanes or rescue equipment is today a goal pursued by many companies worldwide. In this context, the main objective of this project is the development of electronically beam-steerable antennas for communications systems in the millimeter band. Specifically, this project aims at improving the efficiency of these antennas by integrating low-loss waveguide technologies instead of traditional printed technologies. The research will focus on the design, fabrication and experimental validation of two technological demonstrators in the K/Ka bands, valid for satellite communications in motion.


Nowadays, telecommunications systems have become an integral part of our daily lives and have an undeniable impact on our private and professional activities. The anyone to anything, anytime, anywhere paradigm, originally conceived for 5G mobile communications networks, is progressively becoming a reality. The primary needs driving this change have been high-throughput mobile connections, reliable low-latency connections, and massive machine-to-machine communications. This trend is leading technological advances in all segments of the ecosystem, where the use of millimeter waves is crucial to implement high-capacity wireless networks. Currently, the electromagnetic spectrum below 6 GHz (sub-6) is highly saturated, so the use of these higher bands allows for a significant increase in data rates. These new millimeter-wave systems are even becoming a valid alternative to copper and fiber connections in urban areas. Their role, already crucial in 5G infrastructure, will be even more important in the future. The 6G network architecture currently being conceived is strongly oriented towards a hierarchical infrastructure, referred to as a vertical heterogeneous network, providing universal coverage by integrating terrestrial, aerial, and space communication links. This new scenario calls for a new generation of high-efficiency antennas in the millimeter-wave band, being one of the key enabling technologies for the successful deployment of this global network. Due to the heterogeneity of the different nodes and links, the characteristics of the antennas to be developed are very diverse, being possible to use different technologies and typologies. Among other specifications, this project addresses fixed-beam antennas for backhaul links, antennas capable of covering multiple bands, including combinations of mm-wave with sub-6 bands, beam-steerable antennas for communications on the move, or multi-beam antennas for 5G/6G base stations, all of which will be strongly demanded in the next decade. In addition, the sustainability and affordability of such a huge mm-wave global network demand cost-effective antenna technologies with an enhanced trade-off between fabrication cost and energy efficiency. With this aim, this project investigates different antenna technologies, such as novel versions of gap waveguides with simpler fabrication processes, traveling and leaky-wave radiation mechanisms based on novel slow-wave structures, glide-symmetric holey metasurfaces, or innovative 3D printed configurations. The proposed antenna solutions should be carefully validated through prototyping, with particular attention to low-cost fabrication procedures such as additive manufacturing or conventional printed-circuit-board techniques.



Massive access by society to new broadband communications systems in the millimeter-wave band seems to be an imminent reality. However, there are still some technological barriers to overcome from the antenna point of view. The development of low-cost mobile terminals for Ka-band satellite communications, for example, is one of the most complex challenges for those working in the telecommunications sector. In particular, the ability to reliably control beam steering while keeping the antenna fixed is one of the great challenges of today's technology. This feature has a very important impact on the antenna profile and can really make a difference compared to existing terminals, especially in the aeronautical sector. Since the antenna is considered a key enabling technology for the envisioned industrial sector, the main objective of this project focuses on demonstrating that the mechanical phase shifter can indeed be operational in an antenna with the size and specifications associated with SATCOM applications, and in general with new millimeter band communications systems. This full-scale evaluation is of vital importance. Some specifications, such as bandwidth, sweep range and polarization purity, are highly dependent on antenna size. A larger size of the internal feed network is more difficult to design and limits the bandwidth. In addition, coupling between radiating elements in the array aperture, especially for scan angles close to the horizon line, quickly spoils the radiation pattern and beam pointing. The manufacturing cost of the radiating subsystem is another key factor in developing an easily industrializable product. In this project, alternative guiding technologies to the one used in the original prototype are studied in order to reduce costs. The size occupied by the phase-shifting structure is also another feature to be improved in order to achieve a competitive prototype. The final goal of this project is the experimental demonstration of the concept by means of a functional prototype and the dissemination and commercialization of the results among the sectors of interest.



The new application technologies envisioned for the next decade make that technical performance requirements of 6G must be higher than those currently achieved by 5G. Requirements of large bandwidths (to be defined, but higher than 400 MHz), high peak data rate (more than 1 Tbps), high user experience rate (on the order of 1 Gbps), density of connected devices (107 devices/km2) and user plane latency (from 25 µs to 1 ms), to mention the most representative, require technical challenges at the PHY layer, but also new improvements in the core network. To overcome these technical challenges, 6G wireless channels need to be thoroughly studied, since the knowledge of the channel is the basis for designing, optimizing and evaluating the performance of any wireless system. As in 5G, the definition of 6G once again represents a challenge in channel measurements and modelling. The introduction of new enabling technologies, e.g., very large arrays and distributed arrays, and large bandwidths require more complete and robust channel models. Based on the starting hypothesis, the objective of the project is to develop wireless channel models and generate the channel knowledge required to the definition, standardization, and deployment of the future 6G systems. As indicated in the future vision of channel models in Section 1, important contributions are expected to be made in the three following challenges:
  • Definition of a new taxonomy of radio channels.
  • Inclusion of very large MIMO arrays and distributed MIMO arrays in the wireless channel model.
  • Development of hybrid Quasi-Deterministic channel models.
To achieve the objective of the project, we define a methodology that combines channel measurements, channel simulations, and experimental and theoretical channel modelling.



In the coming years, the implementation of broadband communications systems in the millimeter band with global coverage will acquire special relevance. It aims at a convergence of the fixed and mobile services to offer a universal quality of service similar to that of the already mature fiber optic networks. The imminent deployment of 5G networks promises to provide broadband service in sufficiently populated areas, the rest being covered by next-generation communications satellites. The latter allow uninterrupted connection in means of transport (trains, ships, planes) and serve as backup in areas affected by natural disasters or conflict and / or remote zones. The development of antennas for satellite communications in Ka-band, valid for trains or airplanes, represents a great technological challenge that has not yet been effectively solved by the industry. Very low profile antennas must meet very demanding specifications in terms of gain, secondary lobes, high purity circular polarization, and dual band operation. To these requirements must be added a high degree of reconfigurability, since they must be able to switch polarization in addition to pointing the beam dynamically towards the satellite to compensate for the movement. Also, the deployment of the emerging 5G demands reconfigurable multibeam antennas capable of serving several users simultaneously. This project addresses the development of new antenna concepts in the millimeter band capable of meeting the demanding needs of these communication systems. Special attention is paid to highly efficient antennas, dual in polarization and / or frequency and capable of reconfiguring their radiation pattern. The control of beam pointing, maintaining the flat character of the antenna, is one of the main objectives of the project. The implementation of a low-cost alternative mechanism to electronic phase shifters opens the door to the development of competitive low-profile terminals. Innovative solutions capable of generating several simultaneous directing beams are also implemented, valid for multi-user and/or multi-path MIMO communications.


RAdio CHannel research for the deployment of 5G systems in a digital society multi-connected (ICAR5G)

The future traffic demands will require the deployment of new communication systems with faster as well as more efficient and reliable connections. The new 5G systems will represent a significant improvement over 4G systems, increasing the speed of LTE-Advanced by 1000. To increase channel capacity, the distribution of ultra-dense networks of base stations, the use of new frequency bands, such as millimeter-wave (mmWave), and the combination of beamforming techniques and advanced MIMO systems arise as a requirement. In this scenario, the knowledge of the radio channel holds the key to define the standard, select new frequency bands, and optimize the deployment of the network infrastructure. With the aim of studying the radio channel properties for the new 5G scenarios, the project ICAR5G started in 2018. The objectives of this project are to generate new radio channel models based on extensive measurement campaigns, complementing the actions being already developed in other projects, to evaluate the different technologies to be implemented in the radio interface and to optimize the deployment of base stations. In addition, this knowledge is intended to assist decision-making in the process of reorganization and assignment of frequencies in future 5G systems by the standardization and radio spectrum management bodies. Up to now, extensive channel measurements in underground and indoor office environments have been collected using a novel channel sounder implemented in the frequency domain and based on the use of radio over fiber (RoF) links with omnidirectional antennas. From the channel measurements, realistic channel models have been analyzed and developed in the potential frequency bands to deploy the future 5G systems, with special attention to mmWave, e.g., 26, 28, 38 and 60 GHz. These models have been compared with ray-tracing techniques to develop diffuse scattering models. The performance of multiuser MIMO techniques, that can be introduced into 5G systems, have also been investigated in these particular environments from the channel models.



New antenna concepts and topologies for Ka-band  terminals (in the range from 19 to 31 GHz) for satellite communications were explored in this project, targeting at reducing terminal volume and weight so that they may be suitable for on-the-move applications. The proposal was focused on the antenna panel, probably the most complex part of the whole terminal: the mobile terminal comprises TX and an RX antennas operating at well-separated bands (30 GHz and 20 GHz, respectively). Furthermore, being a cellular service, the mobile terminal must be capable of switching polarization during handover from one spotbeam to the next. Therefore, the project has faced the design of so-called dual antennas sharing the same panel for both polarizations and/or both frequency bands, so that overall surface reserved to the antenna is lower. In addition, the project has studied new beam pointing mechanisms so that the antenna may remain static while the main beam moves tracking the satellite. During the last year, main effort has been devoted to mechanically-scanned-beam antennas, giving rise to a new concept of mechanical phase shifter which has been experimentally verified. This concept has been subject to a patent and a journal paper.