Enabling High-Speed Microwave and Millimetre Wave Links (MiMiWaveS)

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science

Abstract

Wireless communications has been shaping the planet in an unprecedented way as we live in an increasingly connected, automated, and globalised society of smart environments where the physical world is connected with the information world. Looking 10-20 years ahead, multi-gigabit wireless communications will play an even more prominent role in the evolution and development of our unwired networked society. This project is proposed at a time when gigabit per second wireless communications is envisioned to bring a fundamental shift to the design of future smart environments. The results of this project will trigger the emerging concept of smart environments, ranging from smart materials controlled or manipulated at the nanoscale, to smart cities with massive deployment of sensors and monitoring systems. In particular, the widespread availability and demand for multimedia capable devices and multimedia content have fuelled the need for high-speed wireless connectivity beyond the capabilities of existing commercial standards. The technologies developed in this project will address practical issues concerning the design and implementation of next generation multi-gigabit wireless applications enabling low cost fibre replacement mobile backhauls, last mile wireless broadband access, ultra-dense small cells, low latency uncompressed high-definition media transfers, and wireless access to the cloud. The challenges and fundamental limits of future networked societies can only be mastered by exploring the disruptive potential of low-interference high-speed wireless links for smart and sustainable environments.

The results of this project will have immediate impact on advancing the state-of-the-art in mobile and ubiquitous computing for multi-gigabit-per-second data rates, supporting new wireless platforms such as cloud computing and tactile Internet to handle large quantities of data and thus to underpin the Internet of Everything (IoE) as a truly networked society connecting hundreds of billions of people, objects, and services. In particular, the concepts, algorithms, and theory developed in this project will address practical issues concerning the unbalanced temporal and geographical variations of the spectrum, along with the rapid proliferation of bandwidth-hungry mobile applications, such as video streaming with high definition television (HDTV) and ultra-high definition video (UHDV). Even though wireless channel impairments greatly impact the bandwidth efficiency of wireless networks, their effects have not been taken into consideration in the recent research carried out in this discipline, especially in the microwave and millimetre-wave bands for fifth generation (5G) cellular. The objective of this project is to improve the bandwidth efficiency of next generation 5G operating in the microwave and millimetre-wave bands through effective transmitter and receiver designs that exploit massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and heterogeneous small cell deployment, while taking into account the effects of impairments, such as channel estimation error, phase noise, and carrier frequency offset. As a result, this project is not based on any idealistic assumptions regarding the wireless channel, which compared to existing work in this field is unique. The proposed research certainly raises several fundamental design challenges far from trivial, that have their roots in diverse disciplines, including information theory, stochastic control theory, sequential statistics, large system analysis, automated decision making, and pervasive computing. Industrial partners will be engaged throughout the project to ensure industrial relevance of our work.

Planned Impact

Mobile and ubiquitous computing is one of the greatest innovations in the history of technology, as we live in an increasingly connected, automated, and globalised society of smart environments where the physical world is connected with the information world. In such an exciting era of smart environments that are extensively equipped with sensors, actuators, and computing components, unprecedented challenges are brought to the global wireless service providers and regulators. Today, in the Internet of Things (IoT), the number of connected devices is growing at an astonishing rate, resulting in a massive increase in the average number of connections per household. Particularly, the use of the Internet has evolved. Gone are the days of browsing simple web pages. Nowadays consumers leverage the Internet for sharing high resolution images, streaming over-the-top video content, interactive online gaming, cloud storage and more. Leading industry experts are calling for the fifth generation (5G) networks to provide 1000x capacity increase over the fourth generation (4G), as the world anticipates more connected devices and services, such as smart buildings, smart vehicles, and smart wearables. This project is proposed at a time when ultra-broadband gigabit-speed mobile links is envisioned to bring a fundamental shift to the design of future smart environments.

The results of this project will have immediate impact on advancing the state-of-the-art of mobile and ubiquitous computing for smart environments, supporting new wireless platforms such as cloud computing and tactile Internet to connect hundreds of billions of smart devices, from miniscule chips to mammoth machines, inevitably reliant on gigabit per second wireless connectivity. In fact, the IoT world is growing at a staggering pace, from 2 billion devices in 2006 to a projected 200 billion in 2020. The main capacity limitation of such an unwired networked society is the air interface due to limited bandwidth. Therefore, this project tackles one of the most challenging and important problems, maximising bandwidth efficiency for the future unwired networked society of high-speed wireless links, which is limited by channel impairment, synchronisation, and interference. The challenges and fundamental limits of the unwired networked society of connected products and services can only be solved using the three key technologies identified in this project: millimetre wave, massive MIMO, and small cells. These technologies will promote multi-gigabit speed wireless for low cost mobile backhauls, last mile broadband access, ultra-dense small cells, low latency uncompressed high-definition media transfers, and wireless access to the cloud and other large data repositories. The industrial partner BT has been analysing the benefits of millimetre wave and network densification i.e., small cells, in its fast growing network to overcome the air interface limitation. BT strongly believes that millimetre wave and small cells are potential solutions for the high-speed traffic in mobile networks. Gigabit speeds will also have the potential to improve education and distance learning, close the digital divide by providing equal access to all and extend online healthcare to remote areas, all while accelerating economic development. The potential beneficiaries of the gigabit wireless solutions developed in this project are industries specializing in: 1) virtual computing environments with smart devices for pertinent and context-aware services of augmented reality and 3D gaming, 2) physical environments with smart devices of sensors, tags, and controllers for industrial Internet of things of intelligent monitoring and autonomous decision-making and 3) humans environments with smart devices of wearables such as healthcare and well-being monitoring devices and high definition body-to-body communication.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Key Findings can be summarized in the following thrusts for next generation 5G networks with high-speed wireless links: 1) Ultra-dense networks (UDN), 2) Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), 3) massive machine-type communication (mMTC), 4) Ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), 5) Cloud radio access network (C-RAN) , 6) Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), 7) Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), 8) Internet of Things (IoT), and 9) Internet of Nano-Things (IoNT).

The rapid advancement in wireless communication and network technologies have enabled the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) networks a reality. However, a variety of challenges remain to be addressed in 5G as predicted there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. Such challenges are associated with large-scale IoT device access, resource management, limited power, bursty demand, extended coverage range and reduced device cost. Recently, we have developed some promising solutions for devices-to-device (D2D) communications and low powered communications to deal with massive access challenges in IoT networks. We have also modelled an IoT application: a smart internet of energy network that consists of IoT elements such as sensors from household appliances, electric vehicles, energy generator sources and renewable energy sources, and the wireless as a transmission medium to reduce the power fluctuation level. Our future work will continue to tackle the challenges related to massive access on IoT networks for 5G and make the smart internet of energy networks as a reality for IoT applications.

On the other hand, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) assisted communication networks, where UAVs act as moving access points or relay platforms, have attracted great attention from academia and industry for their flexible and rapid deployment features. Leading internet companies, such as Google, Facebook and major network operators in North America, such as Verizon and AT&T, all have researched and developed prototypes for providing internet access via UAVs under various scenarios, i.e. cellular network coverage extension, wireless access provision for unserved or underserved remote areas, emergency management and disaster recovery, and temporary fast wireless network deployment for events etc. Our work in this project focuses on addressing research challenges in coordinated multi-UAV networks, such as high mobility of UAVs, time-variant network topologies, seamless coverage to the user demand, and limited onboard power for communications etc. In particular, the research utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) for optimising resource allocation, enhancing self-organising UAV deployment and autonomous flying control to address the unique challenges in UAV assisted communication networks.

As for ultra-dense networks (UDN) which constitutes one of the most promising techniques of supporting the 5G mobile system. By deploying more small cells in a fixed area, the average distance between users and access points can be significantly reduced, hence a dense spatial frequency reuse can be exploited. However, severe interference is the major obstacle in UDN. Most of the contributions deal with the interference by relying on cooperative game theory. However, this method requires heavy information exchange overhead, which is not feasible for UDN. In this project, we advocate the application of C-RAN philosophy to UDN, thanks to the recent development of cloud computing techniques. This network architecture is the so-called ultra-dense C-RAN. Under ultra-dense C-RAN, centralized signal processing can be invoked to support coordinated multi-point (CoMP) transmission. However, there are several challenges associated with ultra-dense C-RAN, such as the acquisition of the global CSI, high computational complexity, limited fronthaul capacity, high hardware cost, etc. Recently, we have developed several promising solutions to deal with these challenges. Our future work will continue to tackle these challenges to make this network architecture a reality.

Below are closely related technical journal papers and non-technical tutorial papers (magazines) produced by the PI in 2018, 2019 and 2020:

1) Y. Zhou, C. Pan, P. L. Yeoh, K. Wang, M. Elkashlan, B. Vucetic, and Y. Li, "Secure communications for UAV-enabled mobile edge computing systems", IEEE Transactions on
Communications; vol. 68, no. 1, January 2020.
2) H. Ren, C. Pan, K.Wang, Y. Deng, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Achievable data rate for URLLC-enabled UAV systems with 3-D channel model", IEEE Wireless Communications Letters; vol. 8, no. 6, December 2019.
3) S. Xu, W. Xu, C. Pan, and M. Elkashlan, "Detection of jamming attack in non-coherent massive SIMO systems", IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security; vol. 14, no. 9, September 2019.
4) M. B. Dissanayake, Y. Deng, A. Nallanathan, M. Elkashlan, and U. Mitra, "Interference mitigation in large-scale multiuser molecular communication", IEEE Transactions on Communications; vol. 67, no. 6, June 2019.
5) G. Gomez, F. J. Martin-Vega, F. J. Lopez-Martinez, Y. Liu, and M. Elkashlan, "Physical layer security in uplink NOMA multi-antenna systems with randomly distributed eavesdroppers", IEEE Access; vol. 7, June 2019.
6) W. Yi, Y. Liu, A. Nallanathan, and M. Elkashlan, "Clustered millimeter wave networks with non-orthogonal multiple access", IEEE Transactions on Communications; vol. 67, no. 6, June 2019.
7) W. Huang, Z. Yang, C. Pan, L. Pei, M. Chen, M. Shikh-Bahaei, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Joint power, altitude, location and bandwidth optimization for UAV with underlaid D2D communications", IEEE Wireless Communications Letters; vol. 8, no. 2, April 2019.
8) C. Pan, H. Ren, Y. Deng, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Joint blocklength and location optimization for URLLC-enabled UAV relay systems", IEEE Communications Letters; vol. 23, no. 3, March 2019.
9) C. Pan, H. Ren, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, and L. Hanzo, "Robust beamforming design for ultra-dense user-centric C-RAN in the face of realistic pilot contamination and limited feedback", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications; vol. 18, no. 2, February 2019.
10) C. Pan, H. Ren, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, and L. Hanzo, "Weighted sum-rate maximization for the ultra-dense user-centric TDD C-RAN downlink relying on imperfect CSI", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications; vol. 18, no. 2, February 2019.
11) L. Wan, Z. Guo, Y. Wu, W. Bi, J. Yuan, M. Elkashlan, and L. Hanzo, "4G/5G spectrum sharing: Efficient 5G deployment to serve enhanced mobile broadband and Internet of Things applications", IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine; vol. 13, no. 4, December 2018.
12) C. Pan, H. Ren, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, and L. Hanzo, "The non-coherent ultra-dense C-RAN is capable of outperforming its coherent counterpart at a limited fronthaul capacity", IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications; vol. 36, no. 11, November 2018.
13) H. Ren, N. Liu, C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, X. You, and L. Hanzo, "Power- and rate-adaptation improves the effective capacity of C-RAN for Nakagami-m fading channels", IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology; vol. 67, no. 11, November 2018.
14) L. Wang, K. K. Wong, S. Lambotharan, A. Nallanathan, and M. Elkashlan, "Edge caching in dense heterogeneous cellular networks with massive MIMO aided self-backhaul", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications; vol. 17, no. 9, September 2018.
15) Z. Yang, C. Pan, M. Shikh-Bahaei, W. Xu, M. Chen, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Joint altitude, beamwidth, location and bandwidth optimization for UAV-enabled communications", IEEE Communications Letters; vol. 22, no. 8, August 2018.
16) H. Ren, N. Liu, C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, X. You, and L. Hanzo, "Low-latency C-RAN: A next-generation wireless approach", IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine; vol. 13, no. 2, June 2018.
17) C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, J.Wang, J. Yuan, and L. Hanzo, "User-centric C-RAN architecture for ultra-dense 5G networks: Challenges and methodologies", IEEE Communications Magazine; vol. 56, no. 6, June 2018.
18) L. Pei, Z. Yang, C. Pan, W. Huang, M. Chen, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Energy efficient D2D communications underlaying NOMA-based networks with energy harvesting", IEEE Communications Letters; vol. 22, no. 5, May 2018.
19) Y. Liu, H. Xing, C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, and L. Hanzo, "Multiple-antenna assisted non-orthogonal multiple access", IEEE Wireless Communications; vol. 25, no. 2, April 2018.
20) C. Pan, H. Mehrpouyan, Y. Liu, M. Elkashlan, and A. Nallanathan, "Joint pilot allocation and robust transmission design for ultra-dense user-centric TDD C-RAN with imperfect CSI", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications; vol. 17, no. 3, March 2018.
21) Z. Yang, C. Pan, W. Xu, Y. Pan, M. Chen, and M. Elkashlan, "Power control for multi-cell networks with non-orthogonal multiple access", IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications; vol. 17, no. 2, February 2018.
Exploitation Route Our research has its roots in diverse disciplines, including information theory, stochastic control theory, optimisation, sequential statistics, large scale analysis, automated decision making, and pervasive computing. Our findings will have immediate impact on advancing the state-of-the-art of mobile and ubiquitous computing for smart environments, supporting new wireless platforms such as cloud computing and tactile Internet to connect hundreds of billions of smart devices. Other disciplines and industries may include high spatial resolution and high sensitivity imaging, ultrahigh-definition multimedia streaming, e-health and e-education services, transport and automotive safety systems for collision avoidance, and tactical surveillance for monitoring and tracking purposes. The new statistical and mathematical modelling and optimization algorithms and theories developed in our research will have potential interest to the applied mathematics community. As a key driver of the future digital economy, the low-latency high-capacity wireless solutions developed in this research will prepare the academic community for the next wave of the digital economy or the so-called Internet of Everything.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Description The proposed work considers 1) ultra-dense networks (UDN), 2) cloud radio access network (C-RAN), 3) non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), 4) ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), and 5) spectrum sharing for next generation 5G networks. The project takes into account research challenges, such as: 1) high computational complexity, 2) stringent fronthaul capacity requirement, 3) huge training overhead for channel state information (CSI) estimation, as well as state-of-the-art solutions, for example: 1) inter-cluster interference-free design, 2) inter-cluster interference-tolerant design, 3) single- and multi-carrier resource allocation, while considering: 1) balance between transmission efficiency and latency, 2) balance between wide-band spectrum availability and coverage quality, and 3) balance between coverage and deployment investment The algorithms and theories developed in this research addresses practical issues relating to the unbalanced temporal and geographical variations of the spectrum, along with the rapid proliferation of bandwidth-hungry mobile applications, such as video streaming with high definition television (HDTV) and ultra-high definition video (UHDV). Our findings on antenna theory, propagation theory, information theory, estimation theory, optimization theory, and large number theory for low-latency high-capacity transceiver design, impairment modelling, and channel modelling will have immediate impact in diverse disciplines, including cyber physical systems, pervasive sensing and computing, human-computer interfaces, computer vision, and machine learning. The proposed research is expected to find applications in multidisciplinary engineering domains such as manufacture, transport, robotics, and medicine. Below are closely related non-technical tutorial papers (magazines) produced by the PI: 1) L. Wan, Z. Guo, Y. Wu, W. Bi, J. Yuan, M. Elkashlan, and L. Hanzo, "4G/5G spectrum sharing: Efficient 5G deployment to serve enhanced mobile broadband and Internet of Things applications", IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine; vol. 13, no. 4, December 2018. 2) H. Ren, N. Liu, C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, X. You, and L. Hanzo, "Low-latency C-RAN: A next-generation wireless approach", IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine; vol. 13, no. 2, June 2018. 3) C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, J.Wang, J. Yuan, and L. Hanzo, "User-centric C-RAN architecture for ultra-dense 5G networks: Challenges and methodologies", IEEE Communications Magazine; vol. 56, no. 6, June 2018. 4) Y. Liu, H. Xing, C. Pan, M. Elkashlan, A. Nallanathan, and L. Hanzo, "Multiple-antenna assisted non-orthogonal multiple access", IEEE Wireless Communications; vol. 25, no. 2, April 2018.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services