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Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, have developed a method to determine the optimal antenna type for 5G networks. They are expected to enable high network coverage at significantly reduced costs.

The 5G network works with frequencies in the millimeter wavelength range. Depending on antenna design and environmental conditions, the emitted signals lose a lot of energy. The method developed by the NIST researchers can apparently determine the optimal antenna type for any topology in order to minimize energy losses. The researchers use a special receiver mounted on a mobile robot to determine the radio signal's reflections, diffraction and scattering between transmitter and receiver. An algorithm then determines which type of antenna achieves the best results in the respective environment.

Experts have high expectation of the 5G mobile technology in the industrial context. Thanks to 5G, robots are already doing repairs, welding and driving screws independently at the Japanese industrial company Shimizu.