Future Wi-Fi: enhanced indoor modelling and waveform design & analysis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Wi-Fi technologies are integral to our internet-connected lives. In excess of 70% of the world's wireless data passes over one of the global Wi-Fi standards. For more than 20 years the University of Bristol's Communication Systems and Networks (CSN) Group has contributed towards the development of these technologies, and to products that conform to them.

WiFi presents opportunities for mobile working and cost savings which are attractive to many organisations. How-ever, security requirements pose a number of challenges with regard to unauthorised interception, exploitation or service denial and need to be considered in any installation. Encryption and authentication provide some of the answer, but there is also a need to determine from an Information Assurance (IA) perspective how far wireless sig-nals may 'leak' outside the intended coverage area. To this end there is an interest in understanding the indoor propagation environment with greater fidelity, to determine conditions which may cause an overall propagation loss lower than would be expected from spherical spreading in free space over the same distance.

The first year will be spent developing an indoor ray-tracing model (this will extend the capabilities of the tool used in the Mobile Communications Lab). The model will consider different property types, wall thicknesses and material types, and will support arbitrary building structures (including large multi-user dwellings). The primary focus will be on the established 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands however to future proof the model, mmWave frequencies (unlicensed 60GHz band) will be considered also to ensure support for future in-building radio standards such as IEEE 802.11ad.

The ray-tracing model will be combined with full 3D antenna measurements, with sophisticated system-level simula-tors of the latest Wi-Fi standards (code already exists). In order to improve the accuracy of the model measurements will be made for a range of scenarios, for example propagation along corridors, false ceilings, cable ducts and stair-wells, with the goal of identifying cases which give a larger range than would normally be expected. Similarly MmWave measurements will be taken in several properties to tune, calibrate and verify the ray-tracing operation (i.e. the underlying diffraction and diffuse scatter interactions with walls, floors and ceilings. The project will make use of the CSN Group's multi-million pound equipment and facilities, such as our anechoic chamber and our wideband channel sounder and channel emulators.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509619/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1791112 Studentship EP/N509619/1 21/09/2015 30/09/2019 Lawrence Sayer
Description I have developed tools to model the wireless communication channel, Most of my work has focused on high-frequency communications in which there are a number of specific propagation phenomenon. Most success has been focused on replicating the diffuse scattering of an electromagnetic wave with a rough surface.
Exploitation Route In propagation modelling software used when planning wireless networks.
Sectors Electronics,Other

URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/people/lawrence-g-sayer/publications.html
Description Software for diffuse scattering used by industrial supervisor and other industrial partners.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Title Measurement data sets 
Description Various databases used for paper work 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Data made freely available with all papers. 
Description COST 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I presented a temporary document at a COST IRACON meeting.
Collaborator Contribution I was able to watch lots of presentations.
Impact I was able to get useful feedback on my temporary document and improve the work further before pursuing publication.
Start Year 2017
Description Cost Training School 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Attended the workshop.
Collaborator Contribution The various lecturers and trainers presented various topics surrounding body area networks.
Impact Learnt about body area networks.
Start Year 2017
Description Bath Science For Schools Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We had a stand at the Bath TAPS event. Children from local schools came round to view various stands, one of which was ours and communications based.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://bathtapsintoscience.com/
Description Short lecture on communications and lab tour for local school 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A local school visited our lab. I helped run a tour and did a short presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017