Millimeter Wave for Electronic Wearable Networks

29 Jan 2015
Wearable communication networks are the next frontier for wireless communications. Wearable networks connect different devices in and around the human body, including low-rate devices like pedometers and high-rate devices like augmented-reality glasses. Such networks might use wireless standards like IEEE 802.11ad, WirelessHD, or even next generation millimeter (mmWave) 5G cellular to support device-to- device communication at Gbps rates. A main challenge for these networks is to support high data rates in dense usage scenarios such as inside a train car or airplane cabin, where many devices may be operating within close proximity. Understanding the interference environment is critical for understanding the rates and quality that can be supported in wearable networks.
As mmWave systems are likely to use compact antenna arrays, WNCG graduate student Kiran Venugopal, West Virginia University Professor Matthew C. Valenti and WNCG Professor Robert W. Heath Jr. assessed the impact of antenna array design parameters on the coverage and spectral efficiency of finite-sized highly dense mmWave wave wearable networks. The finite-size scenario corresponds to a bus or train car. In their research, they modeled human bodies as the main source of blockage of mmWave frequencies. They derived expressions for signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) distribution which capture the effects of key antenna characteristics such as directivity and gain in the regime where the network has a finite spatial extent and number of nodes. Their results how the orientation angle and the size of the antenna array are crucial for achieving high data rates in mmWave-based dense wearable networks.
Parts of the work will be presented at Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Workshop, (San Diego, CA), Feb. 2015. This paper will be available on the ITA Website soon.
This work was supported in part by the Intel 5G program.