Ultra-dense low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communication networks have significant potential for providing high-speed data services. To compensate the severe path loss in satellite communications, a key conceptual enabler is the holographic multiple input multiple output (HMIMO) with a spatially continuous aperture which can achieve a high directive gain with a small antenna size. In this paper, we consider a novel metamaterial antenna called a reconfigurable holographic surface (RHS) integrated with a user terminal (UT) to support LEO satellite communications. Composing of densely packing sub-wavelength metamaterial elements, the RHS can realize continuous or quasi-continuous apertures and provide a practical way towards the implementation of HMIMO. To obtain the desired beam directions towards the satellites, we propose a LEO satellite tracking scheme based on the temporal variation law such that frequent satellite positioning can be avoided. A holographic beamforming algorithm for sum rate maximization is then developed where a closed-form for the optimal holographic beamformer is derived. The robustness of the algorithm against the tracking errors of the satellites' positions is also proved. Simulation results verify the theoretical analysis and show that the RHS outperforms the traditional phased array of the same physical dimension in terms of the sum rate when the compact element spacing of the RHS leads to much more RHS elements. Moreover, the RHS also provides a more cost-effective solution for pursuing high data rate compared with the phased array.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- LEO satellite communication
- Reconfigurable holographic surface
- holographic beamforming