Over the past two decades, wireless technologies operating at traditional frequency bands (<6GHz) evolved into data intensive communication systems by enjoying innovations such as cognitive radio, multiple antenna systems, heterogeneous networks, and machine-to-machine communications. These innovations are currently not satisfactory to address the significantly enhanced data rate needs for future generations (5G and beyond) of wireless communication systems. Consequently, wider frequency bandwidths available at mm-Wave bands (above 10GHz) have recently attracted a strong interest from the wireless community to be able to serve the future data rate demands. Therefore, in this project, the aim is to enhance the capacity and the data rate of wireless communication systems based on the wireless channel control phenomenon by investigating the use of spatial (i.e. position) adaptation of smart antenna arrays. At mm-Wave bands, position adaptations on the order of a few centimeters can practically be realized within compact devices and yet provide new wireless channel opportunities and interference mitigation. The preliminary studies demonstrate that wireless channel opportunities achieved through such spatial adaptations can improve the wireless system capacity beyond a factor of 2.5 to 5. Hence, the results of this project are expected to be transformative in adaptive wireless communications area and the resulting knowledge base is expected to have effects on commercial, emergency, and military communication domains. Immediate tangible outcome of this project will be a system level test bed that will provide results, outcomes, and design guidelines to prospective designers within academia and industry. The proposed activity will also lead to improve the curriculums through developing lab experiments and test beds. Efforts will be made to incite the participation of the minority students via seminars, technology fairs, and specialized events. Broad dissemination is ensured via conference and journal publications, workshops, and tutorials. Specialized outreach sessions will be organized at local high schools and community colleges to expose and attract students, particularly minorities to STEM disciplines.
This proposal introduces a novel wireless system adaptation strategy based on repositioning of mm-Wave antenna arrays during the system operation to control the wireless channel gain. The recent developments in the areas of microfluidic based reconfigurable RF devices and multi-dimensional (i.e. frequency, time, and spatial domains) dynamic spectrum access techniques are jointly investigated, for the first time, to significantly enhance wireless communication system performance. Beam and position adaptable antennas at the transmitter and receiver are used to control the multipath channel characteristics so that a favorable effective channel response for the communication link can be obtained. Unlike the on-going research efforts that focus on mm-Wave wireless systems harnessing beam-steering capability, the proposed system envisions a paradigm shift in the physical layer by controlling the wireless channel using a combination of the beam-steering and position adapting functionalities. Position adaptation is planned to be carried out in a compact, efficient, and high precision device by introducing microfluidically reconfigurable feed networks. The proposed unusual combination of beam-steering and position reconfiguration generates a need for this proposed effort to investigate and revise the long-time established channel estimation, tracking, prediction, and compensation techniques. The proposed main research thrusts are (1) Controlling mm-Wave Wireless Channel; (2) System Design in Heterogeneous Networks; (3) Spatially Adaptive Smart mm-Wave Antenna Arrays; (4) Verification of Theory Predicted Channel Capacity Enhancement with mm-Wave Wireless Communication Scenarios.