Enabling Indoor Mobile Millimeter-wave Networks Based On Smart Reflect-arrays

Xin Tan State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
Zhi Sun State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
Dimitrios Koutsonikolas University at Buffalo, SUNY, USA
Josep M Jornet University at Buffalo, USA


The millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequency band has been utilized in the IEEE 802.11ad standard to achieve multi-Gbps throughput. Despite the advantages, mmWave links are highly vulnerable to both user and environmental mobility. Since mmWave radios use highly directional antennas, the line-of-sight (LOS) signal can be easily blocked by various obstacles, such as walls, furniture, and humans. In the complicated indoor environment, it is highly possible that the blocked mmWave link cannot be restored no matter how the access point and the mobile user change their antenna directions. To address the problem and enable indoor mobile mmWave networks, in this paper, we introduce the reconfigurable 60 GHz reflect-arrays to establish robust mmWave connections for indoor networks even when the links are blocked by obstructions. First, the reconfigurable 60 GHz reflect-array is designed, implemented, and modeled. Then a three-party beam-searching protocol is designed for reflect-array-assisted 802.11ad networks. Finally, an optimal array deployment strategy is developed to minimize the link outage probability in indoor mobile mmWave networks. The proposed solution is validated and evaluated by both in-lab experiments and computer simulations.

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