On board the Chinese Long March 6 rocket, 13 satellites were launched into space on the last day 5 – one of them, however, is special: it is the first to be tested within the Chinese development program for the sixth generation of mobile data, or 6G.
“6G will come from the combination of the satellite and terrestrial communication network. We expect it to be up to a hundred times faster than 5G. Its frequency band is configured to expand from the 5G millimeter wave spectrum to the tera-hertz spectrum, “engineer Xu Yangsheng of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told the state broadcaster CCTV.
According to him, “this experimental satellite marks the first time that the communication technology of this spectrum will be analyzed in action in space”.
Weighing around 70 kg, according to the state news agency Xinhua “the satellite of the University of Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC, also known as Tianyan 05) will be used mainly for remote monitoring of soil and agricultural and forest disasters. At the same time, related tests of communication loads in tera-hertz will be carried out on this satellite platform ”.
A year of research
China (and even companies like Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, China Telecom and Samsung) has been researching the next generation of mobile data since 5G arrived in the country in November 2019.
To this end, the China Bureau of Technology sought 37 telecommunications specialists from universities, institutions and companies. His initial job was to outline a plan for the development of 6G and prove its scientific viability.
“They are going to design a specific research plan for 6G and carry out preliminary research,” said Vice Minister of Technology Bureau Wang Xi at the time.
The tera-hertz spectrum
The tera-hertz frequency (also called T radiation) is one in which the electromagnetic waves sent are between 300 giga-hertz and 3 tera-hertz. In the electromagnetic spectrum, it is between the microwave and the infrared. Like the first radiation, it can penetrate several non-conductive materials: from clouds to clothes, from wood to plastic and ceramics (but not metals or water).