mm-wave Beam Forming

GLOBAL RESEARCH INSTITUTES

  • mm-wave Beam Forming

mm-wave Beam Forming

Principal Supervisor: Prof. V Fusco

Second Supervisor: Dr. N Buchanan

+ Project Description

The application of wireless technology is a key support for society. Ubiquitous networks of wireless connected objects the Internet of Things (IoT), and pervasive connectivity of people requires a radical and disruptive rethink of the wireless infrastructure. 

Superfast mobile data service is still in its infancy in both coverage and speed capabilities. The next generation of mobile data connectivity will provide unbelievably fast broadband speeds, but more importantly it will have enough capacity to perform every function you want it to without a drop in speed or connection, no matter how many people are connected at the same time. 

The Problem Context: Cellular communications, together with its underlying applications, is among today’s most active areas of technology development, with the demand for data rates expected to grow to unprecedented levels by 2020.  mm-Wave massive MIMO, which is considered by many experts as the ‘next big thing in wireless’ . The practical design of mm-Wave massive MIMO faces many fundamental challenges. Future massive MIMO base stations (BSs) will deploy hundreds of antenna units (either co-located on geographically distributed) each connected with a dedicated RF chain . Typically, a transmit RF chain consists of a digital-to- analogue converter (DAC), modulator, up-converter, frequency synthesizer, mixers and a power amplifier (PA), with similar circuitry deployed on the receive side. Such topologies are likely to scale badly into the millimetre wave regime, thereby creating new challenges in respect of energy consumption, electronic circuit area and signal processing algorithms, and motivating much closer collaboration between communications and microwave engineers. 

From the above discussion, it becomes apparent that conventional multi-antenna transceiver architectures in a mm-Wave massive MIMO system will be ‘roadblocked’ unless innovative solutions are developed to share RF resources in order to maintain the energy consumption, implementation cost and complexity at affordable levels. One solution which needs to be thoroughly investigated for its potential is to perform analogue beamforming techniques operating in the RF domain that requires a much fewer number of baseband ADCs. Unfortunately, complete analogue beamforming still faces some critical shortcomings, since it lacks flexibility/adaptability, sacrifices the overall system performance and entails reliability issues in hardware design for mm-Wave signals. We envision a mm-Wave massive MIMO topology performing a portion of processing in the baseband (digital) and the remaining portion in the RF band (analogue) with a reduced number of RF chains as the most viable solution strategy.

+ Aims

The project aims to find low-complexity solutions suitable for future mm-Wave massive MIMO systems.

Design, fabricate and test sub-array antenna architectures suitable for operation in the mm-Wave spectrum using the facilities at QUB; By embarking on the synthesis of physical geometries suitable for mm-Wave massive MIMO, we will utilise the facilities at QUB to design and fabricate antenna arrays. We will initially target the ‘‘near mm-Wave’’ licenced K-band.

+ How to Apply

Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen’s online application portal at: https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/

+ Contact Details

Supervisor Name: Professor V Fusco
Address:

Queens University of Belfast
School of EEECS
Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI)
NI Science Park
Queens Road,
Belfast,
BT3 9DT

Email:

v.fusco@ee.qub.ac.uk

Tel:

+44 (0)28 9097 1806