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Darpa creates terahertz solid state receiver

by on06 August 2012

Heading towards 1.03 THz

US defence researchers at DARPA have designed a solid state receiver capable of gain at terahertz frequencies. The research is getting closer to the creation of transistor-based electronics that will operate at THz frequencies.

At the moment the newly designed solid state receiver demonstrates a gain at 0.85 THz which is a stepping stone for the next target of 1.03 THz. But it does also mean that a host of DoD electronics capabilities are now possible. One such application where this can be of use is for a sensor that will operate through clouds called VISAR.

It has been difficult to build advanced communication and sensor systems that operate in the millimeter wave sub-MMW frequency bands.  This was due to the fact that there were no effective means to generate, detect, process, and radiate the necessary high frequency signals. What was needed was electronic components, which could control and manipulate radiation in this particular portion of the RF spectrum.

John Albrecht, Program Manager at DARPA told Military & Aerospace electronics that creating .85 THz circuits was a remarkable achievement for the program and is the latest success from a long-term investment in frequency-scaled RF transistors. It will give the US military an advantage in an especially challenging portion of the RF spectrum, he said.

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