Climate Change Sensing through Terahertz Communication Infrastructure: A Disruptive Application of 6G Networks

Lasantha Thakshila Wedage, Bernard Butler, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Yevgeni Koucheryavy, Josep M. Jornet, Mehmet C. Vuran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change resulting from releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere continues to affect the Earth’s ecosystem. This pressing issue is driving the development of novel technologies to sense and measure harmful gas emissions. In parallel, the evolution of wireless communication networks requires the wider deployment of mobile telecommunication infrastructure. The terahertz (THz) spectrum is currently under-utilized but is expected to feature in 6G. The use of this spectrum is explored simultaneously for ultra-broadband communication and atmospheric sensing. For atmospheric sensing, the absorption of THz signals by gas molecules is used to estimate atmospheric gas composition. Molecular absorption loss profiles for each gas isotopologue are taken from the HITRAN database and compared with data from transceivers in sensing mode. Preliminary results are presented, showing the effects of signal path loss and power spectral density. A 6G network architecture is proposed to indicate how 6G infrastructure can perform climate change sensing, in addition to its primary purpose of wireless communication.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Network
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2023


  • 6G
  • 6G mobile communication
  • Atmospheric measurements
  • atmospheric sensing
  • Broadband communication
  • climate change
  • Climate change
  • Disruptive technologies
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Sensors
  • Terahertz communication
  • Terahertz communications
  • Wireless communication


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