Vanessa Duarte, Ricardo Correia and João Felício were the big winners of the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2019, in the PhD theses category. The first prize was awarded to Vanessa Duarte, who developed a photonic “chip” for new generation telecommunications satellites. Ricardo Correia (second place) and João Felício (third place) completed the podium.
Vanessa Duarte, during her PhD thesis supervised by Rogério Nogueira and Miguel Drummond (IT/UA), designed and demonstrated a photonic processor integrated in a silicon chip. Such a milestone, central to the European Project BEACON, resulted in the first-ever demonstration of a real-time photonic processor capable of processing 4 input signals, each carrying 1 Gbit/s of data at a frequency of 28 GHz. The experiments were key in demonstrating that photonic technologies can finally unlock fiber-like satellite services at a fiber-like price.
Under the supervision of Nuno Borges de Carvalho (IT/UA), Ricardo Correia developed a passive sensors based on low power communication (backscatter) with wireless power transmission (WPT) capabilities used in IoT applications. This technology delivers ultralow-cost and ultralow-power wireless communications with very high data rates.
Finally, João Felício presented a new medical imaging system for breast cancer screening based on microwave radiation. This technology has the potential for inexpensive, fast and comfortable examinations, without the hazards of ionizing radiation that mammography presents. So far, very good results have been obtained in lab environment, and preparation for clinical trials is ongoing. João Felício developed this work under the supervision of Carlos Fernandes (IST/IT) and Jorge Costa (ISCTE-IUL/IT).
Created in 2010, the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge is a contest sponsored by the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Association, a non-profit organization, funded by the German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a research company with 58 institutes spread all over Germany. The ideas competing in the contest must be based on MsC´s or PhD thesis, whose research is of practical utility, market oriented and focused on the areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Multimedia and other related sciences.
Photo (from left to right): João Felício, Liliana Ferreira (Director of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS), Vanessa Duarte and Ricardo Correia