UWB-Assisted Fast mmWave Beam Alignment


IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC)



Research Areas


Due to their large bandwidth and impressive data speed, millimeter-wave (mmWave) radios are expected to play a key role in the 5G and beyond (e.g., 6G) communication networks. Yet, to release mmWave’s true power, the highly directional mmWave beams need to be aligned perfectly. Most existing beam alignment methods adopt an exhaustive or semi-exhaustive space scanning, which introduces up to seconds of delays.To eliminate the need of a complex space scanning, this paper presents an Ultra-wideband (UWB)-assisted mmWave communication framework, which leverages the co-located UWB antennas to estimate the best angles for mmWave beam alignment. One major challenge to apply this idea in real-world is the barrier of limited antenna numbers. Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) devices are usually equipped with only a few number of UWB antennas, which are not enough for the existing algorithms to provide an accurate angle estimation. To solve this challenge, we design a novel Multi-Frequency MUSIC (MF-MUSIC) algorithm, which extends the classic MUSIC algorithm to the frequency domain and overcomes the antenna limitation barrier in the spatial domain. By doing this, our framework uses only 3 antennas to achieve an accurate angle estimation, which is merely 0.15° different from the state-of-the-art 16-antenna method.