Collaborative Sensing and Communications for Perceptive Millimeter-Wave Wireless Networks

Project: Research

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While 5G systems are currently under deployment worldwide, both academia and industry have started to blueprint next-generation wireless networks. 6G is expected to open up a plethora of new applications, including autonomous driving, tactile Internet, augmented reality (AR), and holographic communications. To support these thrilling applications, not only a high-quality wireless connectivity but also an accurate and powerful sensing capability, e.g., localization, mapping, and tracking, is required. Equipped with the sensing functionality as a native capability, future 6G wireless networks are anticipated to open their “eyes” and becomeperceptivenetworks. Therefore, the integration of sensing and communication (ISAC) will be one of the core components of 6G that will differentiate it from 5G. This also heralds a revolutionary paradigm shift from the communication-centric 5G wireless systems towards multi-functional 6G perceptive wireless networks.  Recently, millimeter-wave (mm-wave) bands from 30 GHz to 300 GHz have been exploited in wireless communication systems. These bands offer huge communication bandwidths and as such became one of the key enablers of 5G systems. Mm-wave frequencies are also beneficial for sensing systems because of the high resolution arising from the synthesized ultra-narrow beams. With these latest advances, mm-wave spectrum bands have the great potential to become an ideal platform to amalgamate sensing and communication. Hence, this project will focus on ISAC at mm-wave frequencies, leading toperceptive mm-wave wireless networks, and aim to develop a synergistic design of such an integrated system.  Despite the potential advantages, the fusion of sensing and communication at mm-wave bands faces several challenges, which shall be addressed in this project. We shall develop effective techniques for the design and analysis of perceptive mm-wave wireless networks, with a special emphasis on thecollaborationbetween sensing and communication systems. First, by leveraging the inherent sensing ability of mm-wave cellular network topology, networked sensing will be investigated. Of particular interest is the development of distributed sensing algorithms to improve sensing accuracy. Second, the benefits of sensing for mm-wave wireless communications shall be studied. Specifically, knowledge of the propagation environment obtained via sensing is expected to streamline the design of hybrid precoding and intelligent reflecting surface deployment in mm-wave wireless communication systems. Third, the dual functional perceptive mm-wave communication system shall be optimized and analyzed, based on which key guidelines for network design will be unraveled. Waveforms striking a balance between the two functionalities and transceiver architectures considering stringent mm-wave hardware constraints are two decisive aspects to be investigated. 


Project number9043485
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …