NTT DOCOMO, INC. and YKK AP Inc. have come together to launch a demonstration test to verify the radio-wave penetration characteristics of signal-permeable windows made with a light, porous material called aerogel, aiming to improve indoor reception of external radio waves while maintaining the insulation benefits of windows.
High-performance materials, multilayered window glass and Low-E glass are being used more widely to improve the insulation of homes and offices for energy efficiency. As a consequence, however, it is becoming more difficult for high-frequency radio waves used by cellphones and other applications to reach indoor spaces. In response, DOCOMO and YKK AP are developing windows that allow radio waves to pass through easily while still maintaining high-performance thermal insulation. The plan is eventually to install such windows in the ceilings and walls of existing as well as new homes and offices.
DOCOMO and YKK AP will now test a prototype window made with aerogel, a high-performance thermal-insulation gel-like material, to confirm its radio-wave penetration characteristics. Aerogel is known to have a dielectric constant close to that of air and allows radio waves to penetrate easily. The demonstration will enable DOCOMO to test materials, shapes and window structures that best allow radio waves to pass through.
Going forward, DOCOMO will continue to work toward 5G Evolution & 6G by researching and developing technologies including windows easily penetrated by high-frequency millimeter and terahertz radio waves for high-quality indoor connectivity.