FITNESS is addressing 5 main technological challenges, to reach its ultimate objective: implement far-field communication and near-field sensing in a single technology”.
FITNESS ambition is to bring the technologies at stakes from “experimental proof of concepts” to “technologies validated in lab” at the end of the project
The enabling technology:
Thanks to the advent of ‘metasurfaces’ these near field sensing and far field communication functionalities are possible at microwave frequencies. Metasurfaces look like a printed-circuit board; they have a ground plane, a thin dielectric layer (yellow in Figure below) and, printed on top of it, a large number of subwavelength metallic patches (orange dashed), which can be modelled as a surface reactance or an impedance sheet.
A pin-feed excites an electromagnetic surface wave (SW). The SW becomes a leaky wave (LW) when a modulation appears in the shape and orientation of the electrically small patches.
FITNESS will develop a “smart skin” that will produce a kind of “electromagnetic aura” around a robot or human body (region of “reactive fields”). Energy levels are safe, since they are about hundred times lower than those radiated by a cell phone.
Left: meta-skin with a few feeds (thin red segments), with transmit and receive ports (bottom blue and red arrows); the signal is conveyed through surface waves (SW) and leaky waves (LW). Right: same phenomena, perturbed by a non-contact touch (scattering by hand), leading to different transmittances (smaller red arrows).
Integrated Electronics :
Conformal electronics ( © CNRS)
Metasurface antenna © CNRS
Nearfield to far field sensors:
Antennas for communication and sensing applications in future urban scenarios ( © Fraunhofer FHR)