Indoor Channel Characterization and Performance Evaluation with Directional Antenna and Multiple Beam Combining

Xiaoya ZUO  Ding WANG  Rugui YAO  Guomei ZHANG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E99-B   No.1   pp.104-114
Publication Date: 2016/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2015ISP0016
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Recent Progress in Antennas, Propagation and Wireless Systems Related to Topics in ISAP2014)
Category: Antennas and Propagation
UWB,  channel capacity,  beamforming,  beam combining,  BER performance,  

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Ultra-wideband (UWB) beamforming is now attracting significant research attention for attaining spatial gain from array antennas. It is commonly believed that directional antenna based communication could improve the system performance. In order to further make clear the relationship between system performance and the antenna array beamforming, UWB indoor channels are extracted from practical measurements and circular horn antenna is used to characterize the channel properties and to evaluate the system performance. Using a single beam directional antenna with a certain half power beamwidth (HPBW), the channel capacity and the bit-error-rate (BER) performance of a UWB RAKE receiver are evaluated. In the line-of-sight (LOS) environments, the channel capacity and BER performance are improved with the beamwidth becoming smaller. However in the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments, the capacity and BER performance are not always better with directional antennas. And the variation trend between the system performance and the antenna beamwidth disappears. This is mainly because that there exist no dominant strong path components like those seen in LOS environments. Then beam combining is introduced to further improve the system performance. Simulation results show that the channel capacity and BER performance cloud be greatly improved by multiple beam combining, especially for the NLOS environments. This reminds us that when antenna beamforming is used to obtain array gain, the beamwidth should be carefully designed and beam combining is necessary to obtain optimal performance, especially in NLOS environments.