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Extension of measurement capabilities into the sub-mm range (THz metrology)

Terahertz radiation with frequencies between 100 GHz and a few THz have been used in scientific applications as radio astronomy, atmospheric research and laboratory spectroscopy for many years. Especially as a result of the advent of new optoelectronic radiation sources the area has reached a sufficient technological maturity that allows for commercial applications.

First measurement systems for the detection of skin cancer, for security scanning on airports and for the quality control of industrial products have been developed. As a result of the increased demand for unoccupied bandwidth short-range communication systems working at frequencies of 300 GHz and above are considered.

The existing limit for maximum exposition of living persons with electromagnetic waves  (ICNIRP, IEEE Std. C95.1, 26. BImSchV, EU Directive 2004 / 40 / EC) ranges up to 300 GHz without the possibility of traceable measurements anywhere.

In order to close this metrological gap, the working group works on the development of a suitable bolometric power probe in cooperation with working group 2.22.

Also the progress in development of THz communication systems requires metrological activities from the point of view of PTB. In cooperation with TU Braunschweig the Terahertz Communications Lab has been found. Within the scope of common activities the working group operates a 300 GHz transmission system to charcterize commuinication channels and to study propagation effects.