Jan. 01, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023

With the SENTINEL lighthouse project, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is launching a lead project to develop key technologies for the upcoming 6G mobile communications standard. The focus is on terahertz technologies and solutions for flexible networks. Fraunhofer FOKUS, as well as four other Fraunhofer institutes, are involved in SENTINEL to jointly achieve a leading technological position in 6G research.

To make mobile communications in the THz range a reality, researchers in the 6G SENTINEL project are working on the development of radio channel models and link-level simulators for the frequency range between 100 and 300 GHz. Based on this, the prototype of a highly integrated terahertz transmitter module is to be created, which, together with a transmission method that is also to be developed, will be suitable for demonstrating mobile THz links.

Based on many years of experience as a developer of the Open5GCore core network, Fraunhofer FOKUS is involved in this project in the development of a software-based, 6G-ready core network, which, depending on the use case, will be extended by secure and trusted components for dynamic control, enable the integration of novel access and backhaul networks, and support AI-based network automation.

Mobile data rates, availability, accuracy, quality of service, and reliability are expected to continuously improve starting from the 5G standard. Overall, this performance improvement in 6G will be accompanied by a much higher connection density. The foremost goals are to tap terahertz frequencies and develop technology for more flexible networks, in particular by incorporating satellites and flying platforms.