X60: A Programmable Testbed for Wideband 60 GHz WLANs with Phased Arrays

Swetank Kumar Saha, Yasaman Ghasempour, Muhammad Kumail Haider, Tariq Siddiqui, Paulo De Melo, Neerad Somanchi, Luke Zakrajsek, Arjun Singh, Roshan Shyamsunder, Owen Torres, Daniel Uvaydov, Josep Miquel Jornet, Edward Knightly, Dimitrios Koutsonikolas, Dimitris Pados, Zhi Sun, Ngwe Thawdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This paper introduces X60, the first SDR-based testbed for 60 GHz WLANs, featuring fully programmable MAC/PHY/Network layers, multi-Gbps rates, and a user-configurable 12-element phased antenna array. Combined these features provide an unprecedented opportunity to re-examine the most important aspects of signal propagation and performance expected from practical 60 GHz systems. Leveraging the testbed's capabilities, we conduct an extensive measurement study, looking at different aspects of indoor 60 GHz links. We find that the presence of reflective surfaces and imperfect beams generated by practical phased arrays together can result in multiple NLoS paths supporting Gbps rates. Additionally, our comparison of different beam adaptation strategies reveals how beam steering even at one end of the link can often be sufficient to restore link quality. Finally, contrary to a common assumption in recent works, we find that a one-to-one MCS to SNR mapping is hard to obtain in typical indoor environments, and probing of more than one MCS index is often required to discover the optimal MCS for a given SNR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Communications
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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