Joint communication and sensing (JCAS)

Integrated sensing and communication (ISAC)

Integrated sensing and communication (ISAC)

Communication and radar applications (e.g. in the automotive sector) have been studied, developed and commercialized separately in the networks used today. Integrated sensing and communication (ISAC), also known as joint (or integrated) communication and sensing (JCAS/ICAS), combines radar sensor data with associated communication data and is one of the numerous topics in the field of future communication systems such as 6G being investigated within various projects worldwide.

Wireless sensing technologies aim to acquire information about a remote object or environment and its characteristics without physically contacting it. Integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) is thus based on the requirements of 6G for environmental sensing and has emerged as an important technology candidate in the mobile industry.

Achievements in this field could enhance existing applications, for instance in the automotive industry, or create new use cases in data communication and environmental sensing (e.g. for surveillance, ehealth, industrial or drone applications).

ISAC increases efficiency overall as communication and sensors utilize the same spectrum and signals are transmitted and received by the same hardware. The same spectrum and signals can therefore be used for both purposes. This in turn leads to opportunities and challenges from a testing perspective.

Rohde & Schwarz actively participates in this research and leverages its expertise in testing and measurement for both communication and radar/sensing domains.

Research in the field of integrated sensing and communication

Rohde & Schwarz is actively involved in both national and international 6G research projects and works alongside renowned institutions to develop the corresponding test solutions. One example is the KomSens 6G project.

Furthermore, the China Mobile Research Institute and Rohde & Schwarz are collaborating on the research and validation of integrated sensing and communication (ISAC).

6G ISAC: Challenges

As in any other field, 6G integrated sensing and communication unsurprisingly faces challenges that need to be addressed. When it comes to 6G sensing, the research topics are manifold, focusing on physical layer aspects such as the optimum waveform design and bandwidth requirements, the optimal system architecture and system aspects like communication and sensing data fusion.

Integrated sensing and communication into a unified framework introduces higher complexity to the systems. Comprehensive and precise measurements are crucial to evaluate the performance and efficiency of the ISAC system.

Integrated sensing and communication: our measurement solution

The laboratory test platform for verifying JCAS technology is based on the R&S®AREG800A Automotive Radar Echo Generator for object simulation and the R&S®FE44S external frontends. This solution enables reliable and repeatable tests in the laboratory, with the aim of accelerating the research and development of ISAC and paving the way for industrial deployment.

Rohde & Schwarz was awarded the GTI Award for Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology at the Mobile World Congress 2023 for its innovative concept for testing integrated ISAC.

The benefits of our leading-edge testing solutions at a glance:

  • The R&S®AREG800A simulator from Rohde & Schwarz is used to generate artificial objects and can generate multiple dynamic targets with different distances, sizes and radial velocities
  • The simulator can simulate azimuth angles from multiple target objects by increasing the number of frontends accordingly. Various frequency converter modules enable ISAC testing in the respective frequency bands

Want to discuss your specific ISAC test cases with our experts?

Test solutions for 6G ISAC

Rohde & Schwarz at Mobile World Congress 2024

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6G ISAC related news

Featured 6G integrated sensing and communication content

Joint communication and sensing (JCAS)

Video: Joint communication and sensing (JCAS)

A core capability introduced by 6G will be joint communication and sensing (JCAS). Watch this video to discover the wide range of use cases.

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Webinar: Verifying JCAS performance in the 6G landscape

Webinar: Verifying JCAS performance in the 6G landscape

Watch this webinar and learn about the current state of JCAS research for 6G, performance verification methods for JCAS and more.

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Testing 6G JCAS in FR2 frequency bands

Video: Testing 6G JCAS in FR2 frequency bands

Watch this demo and discover why joint or integrated communication and sensing (JCAS/ICAS) is one of multiple 6G research items in various projects around the world.

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Think Six - 6G adds a sixth sense with Joint Communication & Sensing (JCAS)

Video: 6G adds a sixth sense with Joint Communication & Sensing (JCAS)

This short video introduces this emerging field of research for innovative applications made possible by 6G, from a company with the required expertise in both wireless communication and radar test & measurement.

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ISAC FAQs

What is ISAC in 6G?

ISAC is the abbreviation for integrated sensing and communication and refers to the integration of wireless communication and sensing within a unified framework. It enables advanced wireless connections and enhanced environmental perception capabilities.

By combining communication and sensors, future 6G networks can operate more efficiently and enhance existing applications like autonomous/assisted driving. It also enables new applications such as AGVs/UAVs control and collision avoidance, 3D map reconstruction, home surveillance, industrial applications in smart factories, and healthcare (patient monitoring).

How does ICAS work?

ICAS uses signals from communication devices – both infrastructure and end user devices – to sense or detect objects in the environment. The data gathered from sensing devices is processed and condensed into relevant information, which can then be transmitted through the wireless communication network. Such transmitted sensor data can also eventually be utilized by applications and services to perform specific tasks.

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