Millimeter wave (mmWave) systems with effective beamforming capability play a key role in fulfilling the high data-rate demands of current and future wireless technologies. Hybrid analog-todigital beamformers have been identified as a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution towards deploying such systems. Most of the existing hybrid beamforming architectures rely on a subconnected phase shifter network with a large number of antennas. Such approaches, however, cannot fully exploit the advantages of large arrays. On the other hand, the current fully-connected beamformers accommodate only a small number of antennas, which substantially limits their beamforming capabilities. In this paper, we present a mmWave hybrid beamformer testbed with a fully-connected network of phase shifters and adjustable attenuators and a large number of antenna elements. To our knowledge, this is the first platform that connects two RF inputs from the baseband to a 16 8 antenna array, and it operates at 26 GHz with a 2 GHz bandwidth. It provides a wide scanning range of 60, and the flexibility to control both the phase and the amplitude of the signals between each of the RF chains and antennas. This beamforming platform can be used in both short and long-range communications with linear equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) variation between 10 dBm and 60 dBm. In this paper, we present the design, calibration procedures and evaluations of such a complex system as well as discussions on the critical factors to consider for their practical implementation.
Hybrid beamforming for frequency-selective channels is a challenging problem, as the phase shifters provide the same phase shift to all the subcarriers. The existing approaches solely rely on the channel’s frequency response, and the hybrid beamformers maximize the average spectral efficiency over the whole frequency band. Compared to state-of-the-art, we show that substantial sum-rate gains can be achieved, both for rich and sparse scattering channels, by jointly exploiting the frequency- and time-domain characteristics of the massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channels. In our proposed approach, the radio frequency (RF) beamformer coherently combines the received symbols in the time domain and, thus, it concentrates the signal’s power on a specific time sample. As a result, the RF beamformer flattens the frequency response of the “effective” transmission channel and reduces its root-mean-square delay spread. Then, a baseband combiner mitigates the residual interference in the frequency domain. We present the closed-form expressions of the proposed beamformer and its performance by leveraging the favorable propagation condition of massive MIMO channels, and we prove that our proposed scheme can achieve the performance of fully digital zero-forcing when the number of employed phases shifter networks is twice the resolvable multipath components in the time domain.characteristics of the massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channels. In our proposed approach, the radio frequency (RF) beamformer coherently combines the received symbols in the time domain and, thus, it concentrates the signal's power on a specific time sample. As a result, the RF beamformer flattens the frequency response of the ``effective'' transmission channel and reduces its root-mean-square delay spread. Then, a baseband combiner mitigates the residual interference in the frequency domain. We present the closed-form expressions of the proposed beamformer and its performance by leveraging the favorable propagation condition of massive MIMO channels, and we prove that our proposed scheme can achieve the performance of fully digital zero-forcing when the number of employed phases shifter networks is twice the resolvable multipath components in the time domain.
The recent studies on hybrid beamformers with a combination of switches and phase shifters indicate that such methods can reduce the cost and power consumption of massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems. However, most of the works have focused on the scenarios with frequency-flat channel models. This letter proposes an effective approach for such systems in frequency-selective channels and presents the closed-form expressions of the beamformer and the corresponding sum-rates. Compared to the traditional subconnected structures, our approach with a significantly smaller number of phase shifters results in a promising performance.
This paper presents the measurement results and analysis for outdoor wireless propagation channels at 26 GHz over 2 GHz bandwidth for two receiver antenna polarization modes. The angular and wideband properties of directional and virtually omni-directional channels, such as angular spread, root-mean-square delay spread and coherence bandwidth, are analyzed. The results indicate that the reflections can have a significant contribution in some realistic scenarios and increase the angular and delay spreads, and reduce the coherence bandwidth of the channel. The analysis in this paper also show that using a directional transmission can result in an almost frequencyflat fading channel over the measured 2 GHz bandwidth; which consequently has a major impact on the choice of system design choices such as beamforming and transmission numerology.
In conventional hybrid beamforming approaches, the number of radio-frequency (RF) chains is the bottleneck on the achievable spatial multiplexing gain. Recent studies have overcome this limitation by increasing the update-rate of the RF beamformer. This paper presents a framework to design and evaluate such approaches, which we refer to as agile RF beamforming, from theoretical and practical points of view. In this context, we consider the impact of the number of RF-chains, phase shifters speed, and resolution to design agile RF beamformers. Our analysis and simulations indicate that even an RF-chain-free transmitter, which its beamformer has no RF-chains, can provide a promising performance compared with fully-digital systems and significantly outperform the conventional hybrid beamformers. Then, we show that the phase shifter's limited switching speed can result in signal aliasing, in-band distortion, and out-of-band emissions. We introduce performance metrics and approaches to measure such effects and compare the performance of the proposed agile beamformers using the Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process. Although this paper aims to present a generic framework for deploying agile RF beamformers, it also presents extensive performance evaluations in communication systems in terms of adjacent channel leakage ratio, sum-rate, power efficiency, error vector magnitude, and bit-error rates.
This paper presents details of the wideband directional propagation measurements of millimetre-wave (mmWave) channels in the 26 GHz, 32 GHz, and 39 GHz frequency bands in an indoor typical office environment. More than 14400 power delay profiles (PDPs) were measured across the 26 GHz band and over 9000 PDPs have been recorded for the 32 GHz and 39 GHz bands at each measurement point. A mmWave wideband channel sounder has been used, where signal analyzer and vector signal generator was employed. Measurements have been conducted for both co- and crossantenna polarization. The setup provided 2GHz bandwidth and the mechanically steerable directional horn antenna with 8 degrees beamwidth provides 8 degrees of directional resolution over the azimuth for 32 GHz and 39 GHz while 26 GHz measurement setup provides the angular resolution of 5 degrees. Measurements provide path loss, delay and spatial spread of the channel. Large-scale fading characteristics, RMS delay spread, RMS angular spread, angular and delay dispersion are presented for three mmWave bands for the line-of-sight (LoS) scenario.
Wideband millimeter-wave (mmWave) directional propagation measurements were conducted in the 32 GHz and 39 GHz bands in outdoor line-of-sight (LoS) small cell scenarios. The measurement provides spatial and temporal statistics that will be useful for small-cell outdoor wireless networks for future mmWave bands. Measurements were performed at two outdoor environments and repeated for all polarization combinations. Measurement results show little spread in the angular and delay domains for the LoS scenario. Moreover root-mean-squared (RMS) delay spread at different polarizations show small difference which can be due to specific scatterers in the channel.
This paper presents empirically-based large-scale propagation path loss models for small cell fifth generation (5G) cellular system in the millimeter-wave bands, based on practical propagation channel measurements at 26 GHz, 32 GHz, and 39 GHz. To characterize path loss at these frequency bands for 5G small cell scenarios, extensive wideband and directional channel measurements have been performed on the campus of the University of Surrey. Close-in reference (CI), and 3GPP path loss models have been studied, and large-scale fading characteristics have been obtained and presented.