Reconfigurable Intelligent Metasurfaces for Wireless Communication and Sensing Applications

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Virginia Tech

In recent years, metasurfaces have shown promising abilities to control and manipulate electromagnetic (EM) waves through modified surface boundary conditions. These surfaces are electrically thin and comprise an array of spatially varying sub-wavelength scattering elements (or meta-atoms). Metasurfaces can transform an incident EM wave into an arbitrarily tailored transmitted or reflected wavefront through carefully engineering each meta-atom. Recent developments in metasurfaces have opened exciting new opportunities in antenna design, sensing, and communications systems. In particular, reconfigurable metasurfaces - wherein meta-atoms are embedded with active components - lead to the development of low-cost, lightweight, and compact systems capable of producing programmable radiation patterns and jointly performing multi-function communications, and enable advanced sensors for next-generation platforms. This research introduces reconfigurable metasurfaces and their various applications in designing simplified communications systems, wherein the RF aperture and transceiver are integrated within the metasurface. Finally, we will present our recent work on reconfigurable metasurfaces control, metasurface-enabled direct signal modulation, and deep learning-based metasurface design.

Metasurfaces, Antennas, Electromagnetics, Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces, Wireless Communications, Deep learning (Machine learning), Sensing