Towards programming the radio environment with large arrays of inexpensive antennas

Zhuqi Li, Yaxiong Xie, Longfei Shangguan, R. Ivan Zelaya, Jeremy Gummeson, Wenjun Hu, Kyle Jamieson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conventional thinking treats the wireless channel as a constraint, so wireless network designs to date target endpoint designs that best utilize the channel. Examples include rate and power control at the transmitter, sophisticated receiver decoder designs, and high-performance forward error correction for the data itself. We instead explore whether it is possible to reconfigure the environment itself to facilitate wireless communication. In this work, we instrument the environment with a large array of inexpensive antenna (LAIA) elements, and design algorithms to configure LAIA elements in real time. Our system achieves a high level of programmability through rapid adjustments of an on-board phase shifter in each LAIA element. We design a channel decomposition algorithm to quickly estimate the wireless channel due to the environment alone, which leads us to a process to align the phases of the LAIA elements. Variations of our core algorithm then improve wireless channels on the fly for single- and multi-antenna links, as well as nearby networks operating on adjacent frequency bands. We implement and deploy a 36-element LAIA array in a real indoor home environment. Experiments in this setting show that, by reconfiguring the wireless environment, we can achieve a 24% TCP throughput improvement on average and a median improvement of 51.4% in Shannon capacity over baseline single-antenna links. Over baseline multi-antenna links, LAIA achieves an improvement of 12.23% to 18.95% in Shannon capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages285-299
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971492
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019 - Boston, United States
Duration: Feb 26 2019Feb 28 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019

Conference

Conference16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period2/26/192/28/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards programming the radio environment with large arrays of inexpensive antennas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Li, Z., Xie, Y., Shangguan, L., Ivan Zelaya, R., Gummeson, J., Hu, W., & Jamieson, K. (2019). Towards programming the radio environment with large arrays of inexpensive antennas. In Proceedings of the 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019 (pp. 285-299). (Proceedings of the 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2019). USENIX Association.