Antenna Array Systems: Propagation and Performance

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Virginia Tech

Due to the enormous performance gains associated with the use of antenna arrays in wireless networks, it is inevitable that these technologies will become an integral part of future systems. This report focuses on signal propagation modeling for antenna array systems and on its relationship to the performance of these systems. Accurate simulation and analytical models are prerequisite to the characterization of antenna array system performance. Finally, an understanding of the performance of these systems in various environments is needed for effective overall network design.

This report begins with an overview of the fundamentals of antenna array systems. A survey of vector channel models is presented. Angle of arrival and time of arrival statistics for the circular and elliptical (Liberti's Model) models are derived. A generalized optimum output SINR analysis is derived for space-time processing structures in frequency selective fading channels. The hardware and software of the MPRG Antenna Array Testbed (MAAT) is described. A literature review of previous antenna array propagation measurements is given. Antenna array measurement results obtained with the MAAT are used to compare the properties of the received signal vector in the various environmental conditions. The influence of channel parameters on the ability of antenna arrays to separate the signals of two users on the reverse link is studied using simulation. Finally, forward link beamforming techniques are reviewed.

propagation modeling, antenna arrays, wireless communications