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6G Could Pull Double Duty to Monitor Climate Change


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A conceptual collage showing telecommunications equipment, data, and clouds.

“What we are proposing in this paper is over-the-air spectroscopy,” said Josep Jornet, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern University

Credit: Stuart Bradford

Northeastern University researchers said over-the-air spectroscopy could enable next-generation 6G networks to monitor climate change and air pollution.

The researchers found that terahertz signal absorption could reveal the presence of certain gases in the air and their concentration.

The work is based on the fact that different molecules absorb different electromagnetic radiation frequencies based on their molecular structure.

The researchers compared different gases' absorption profiles from an online molecular absorption database with sensing data on various gas samples from sub-terahertz transceivers in sensing mode.

They measured radiation absorption using a simple path loss-data analysis, which involves measuring signal loss between the transmitter and receiver, and a power spectral density approach, which involves measuring the signal's power against its frequency. Absorption patterns were identified and matched with the online database via a machine-learning algorithm.

From IEEE Spectrum
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