STAMINA: Implementation and Evaluation of Software-Defined Millimeter Wave Initial Access

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

In this paper, we present a framework for experimentation in next-generation Initial Access (IA) procedures for Millimeter Wave (mmWave) and Terahertz (THz) communications called SofTwAre-defined Mmwave INitial Access (STAMINA). The IA procedure is one of the essential components for communication systems in high frequencies, enabling directional transmitters and receivers to acquire each other's relative orientation before data transmission. While effective in establishing communication, the existing IA procedure standardized by 3GPP consumes a significant amount of radio resources. Many research efforts have proposed enhancements over the current-generation IA procedure, e.g., leveraging non-uniform beam sweep sequences or adaptive codebooks. However, no existing experimental mmWave platforms support modifications in their standard-compliant IA procedures, preventing their utilization for conducting experimental research on next-generation IA procedures. Our software-defined mmWave framework addresses this gap by combining the flexibility of Software-defined Radios (SDRs) with the directionality of mmWave front-ends to perform customizable IA procedures. We demonstrate STAMINA's ability to control mmWave frontends correctly, its increased performance over traditional static experiments, and its flexibility to customize the IA parameters to achieve different objectives. Our results show that STAMINA provides experimenters with a flexible platform for performing experiments on next-generation IA procedures.