Wireless communication engineers envision a fully connected world where there is seamless wireless connectivity for Everyone and Everything. Modern wireless communication networks continue to grow at a very rapid rate which has increased the demand for intelligent and efficient communication networks. However, all dynamic and adaptive features of wireless networks are controlled by either the Base-Station (BS) or the User Equipment (UE) while the wireless propagation environment remains unaware of various communication processes going through it. It therefore remains an open topic of research and evaluation among the industrial and academic fraternity to impart some level of intelligence to this otherwise passive radio propagation environment.
Start date1 January 2022
This studentship will pay full UK tuition fees along with a stipend of £18,609 per annum for 4 years. Stipend will be increased by 3% each year. Funding for this project is available to UK students only.
Funding sourceEPSRC ICASE studentship in partnership with BT
There are still some open problems that need to be addressed with regards to RRS deployment in future communication networks for example, lack of rapid beamforming approaches for mmWave spectrum. Principally, the direction of the reflected beam is determined by assigning a specific phase for each individual unit-cells (scatterers) on the RRS. This phase distribution, in exciting solutions, is calculated by solving optimisation problems which are based on iterative techniques and require long time to converge. Since in mobile communication, the real-time response of the system against the dynamic variations of the channel is of critical importance; therefore, the iterative optimisation techniques are not suitable to be employed to calculate the phase pattern. Moreover, their processing-time can vary case by case, which can further impact the robustness of the whole system. In addition, there are only a few theoretical studies which provide preliminary insights towards understanding propagation channels in the presence of RRS. However, these works cannot capture the complex propagation effects of real-world scenarios. Furthermore, RRS has not been fully evaluated in real wireless networks.
To address these research gaps, the following objectives have been set for this work:
- To pioneer the design method for novel reconfigurable mmWave LISs which can be crafted to control the EM characteristics of the reflected beam differently, including pointing angle, beamwidth, polarisation and shape of the beam (for example, fan/pencil/multiple)
- To develop the phase control unit
- To Integrate the designed RRS with the phase control unit to test the fully integrated prototype
- To conduct the mmWave channel measurement campaign in the presence of RRS and to develop the mmWave statistical channel model based on the collected data
- To exploit the capability of the developed RRS prototype to control and manipulate the mmWave propagation channel
- To implement the developed RRS in a real-world testbed mmWave wireless network and to evaluate the network performance gains of using such an intelligent entity.
The successful candidate has access to 5G and 6G testbeds at the Institute for Communication Systems at the University of Surrey.
Related linksView video on reconfigurable reflecting surfaces for 5G/6G
Candidates should have a first-class honours degree or equivalent, or a good MSc Degree, in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering. Candidates must be confident in antenna engineering and EM modelling tools.
This studentship is for UK students only.
IELTS requirements: IELTS test (test not older than 2 years): 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with at least 6.0 in Writing, or equivalent.
How to apply
Apply through the Information and Communication Systems PhD page.
Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. Applications must include a research proposal, up-to-date CV, master’s and bachelor’s degree certificates and transcripts and a copy of your passport. Two references are required before an offer can be made.