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MIMO Wireless Revolution

MIMO Wireless Revolution

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Published by: Marcelo Fenner Bitencourt on Apr 30, 2011
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MIMO: The next revolution in wirelessdata communications
While providing a technical overview o MIMO and its dierent variants, and quantiyingsome o its benefts in relevant scenarios in military tactical communications, the article alsoidentifes key capabilities that efcient MIMO development/evaluation platorms must oer.
By Babak Daneshrad
ulti-antenna based multi-input multi-output (MIMO) communications rstburst onto the scene in the mid 1990s whenresearchers at Bell Labs and Stanord werelooking or ways to increase system through-put without increasing bandwidth. In the de-cade since, thousands o research papers havebeen written on the topic dealing with bothphysical layer (PHY) and network layer rami-cations o the technology. MIMO has gonethrough the adoption curve or commercialwireless systems to the point that today, allhigh throughput commercial standards (i.e.,WiMax, Wi-Fi, cellular, etc.) have adoptedMIMO as part o the optional, i not manda-tory, portions o their standards. The adoptiono MIMO into military wireless communica-tions systems has to some extent lagged itsadoption in the commercial arena. To date,the largest DoD-unded eort with a uniquelyMIMO-centric ocus is the Deense AdvancedResearch Projects Agency (DARPA) MobileNetworked MIMO (MNM) program. Thisprogram is a multiyear, multimillion-dollareort that looks to exploit MIMO techniquesto (a) provide reliable communications inurban canyons; (b) signicantly extend thereach o conventional single-antenna wirelesssystems; (c) improve reliability o individuallinks: and (d) enhance mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) throughput rate by 10x or morecompared to current SISO-based radios.Lucent Technologies was the perormer onthe rst phase o the program, whereas SilvusTechnologies was chosen as the perormer onthe second and third phases o the program.This article will provide a technical over-view o MIMO and its dierent variants, aswell as quantiy some o its benets in relevantscenarios in military tactical communications.Finally we will identiy key capabilities thatecient MIMO development/evaluation plat-orms must oer to the marketplace.
Introduction to MIMO
The pioneering work by Telatar, Foschiniand Gans at Bell Labs demonstrated thatMIMO in a wireless communication systemcan greatly improve perormance, as muchas one order o magnitude or more, withoutrequiring any additional bandwidth.
A MIMO wireless system consists o Ntransmit antennas and M receive antennas.However, unlike phased array systems wherea single inormation stream, say x(t), is trans-mitted on all transmitters and then received atthe receiver antennas, MIMO systems trans-mit dierent inormation streams, say x(t),y(t), z(t), on each transmit antenna. These areindependent inormation streams being sentsimultaneously and in the same requencyband. At rst glance, one might say that thetransmitted signals interere with one another.In reality, however, the signal arriving at eachreceiver antenna will be a linear combinationo the N transmitted signals.
Figure 1 shows a MIMO system with threetransmit and three receive antennas. The re-ceived signals r1(t), r2(t), r3(t) at each o thethree received antennas are a linear combina-tion o x(t), y(t), z(t). The coecients {aij}represent the channel weights correspond-ing to the attenuation seen between eachtransmit-receive antenna pair. The aect isthat we have a system o three equations andthree unknowns as shown below.
r A x y z
In general, the matrix, A, o channel coe-cients {aij} must be invertible or MIMOsystems to live up to their promise. It has beenproven that the likelihood or A to be invert-ible increases as the number o multipaths andrefections in the vicinity o the transmitteror receiver increases. The impact o this isthat in a Rayleigh ading environment withspatial independence, there are essentiallyNM levels o diversity available and there aremin(N,M) independent parallel channels thatcan be established. Increases in the diversityorder results in signicant reductions in thetotal transmit power or the same level o perormance. On the other hand, an increasein the number o parallel channels translatesinto an increase in the achievable data ratewithin the same bandwidth.
Let us now quantiy thebenets o MIMO-based sys-tems operating in a typicalRayliegh ading wirelesschannel. Figure 2 comparesthe achievable 95-percentilecapacity (minimum capacityachieved over 95 percent o wireless channels encoun-tered, or in other words, givena channel, there is a 95 percentchance that the capacity o that channel is higher than thecapacity shown in the plot)or single antenna systems(yellow dot), or a phasedarray multi-antenna system
(t) = a
x(t) + a
y(t) + a
(t) = a
x(t) + a
y(t) + a
Figure 1. MIMO transmission and reception in a dispersive environment. In a MIMO system, different informationis transmitted simultaneously on each transmit antenna.
RF Design www.rdesign.com S7
0408DE-F2.indd 73/20/2008 12:11:11 PM
(blue curve), and or MIMOsystems (red curve). As shown,the capacity o the phased arraysystem grows logarithmicallywith increasing antenna arraysize, whereas the capacity o theMIMO system grows linearly.With our antennas, the phasearray system provides a capacityo 8 bps/Hz, whereas the MIMOsystem provides a capacity o 19bps/Hz. It is also worth noting thatin a phased array system, the arraycoecients must be calculated topoint the beam in the “best direc-tion.” This is quite dicult to dowhen the transmitter is insidethe hull o an aircrat where thesignal undergoes many refectionsbeore it emerges rom the aircratand lands at the receiver. MIMOsystems do not suer rom thisproblem as the geometry o the environmentand position o the refectors are automati-cally taken into account during the decodingo the MIMO signal.The beneits o MIMO will now beconsidered in a dierent light. Assume thatthere is a xed capacity that is desired, say1 bps/Hz, and ask the question, “How muchtotal transmit power is needed to achieve a95-percentile capacity o 1 bps/Hz?” Theresults are summarized in Table 1. As is seenrom the table, as the number o antennasincrease in a MIMO system, less and lessreceive power is needed to achieve the samedata throughput rate. This is an importantnding as it is the key property that is reliedupon to combat the attenuation associatedwith getting the signal out o the aircrat hull.So i a conventional single antenna systemrequired 1 Watt o transmit power to achievea certain throughput, then an 8 x 8 MIMOsystem would require only 6 mW o powerto achieve the same perormance.
 A multiplicity of MIMO modes
The appeal o spatial multiplexingMIMO systems has captured many people’sattention. This has been taken to the ex-treme whereby spatial multiplexing MIMOschemes have been suggested to solve anyand all wireless communication issues. Inact, there are our unique multi-antennaMIMO techniques available to the systemdesigner as ollows:
• Spatial multiplexing (SM-MIMO). Mul
-tiple antennas are used to create spatiallyindependent links along the eigen-modeso the wireless channel. In SM systems,throughput is increased by sending dier-ent data on the dierent transmit antennas.As such SM-MIMO can result in muchimproved throughput without increasingbandwidth. The downside to SM is theneed or highly complex matrix inversionoperations in the receiver, and the addedsensitivity to impairments when the systemis driven into “ull-multiplexing” (numbero spatial streams is equal to the number o transmit antennas which in turn is equal tothe number o receive antennas) mode o operation.
• Space-time coding (STC-MIMO). Space-
time coding systems look to providecoding gain by introducing redundancyalong the three signaling axes dened astime, requency and space. They can alsobe used to provide transmit diversity gain.
Compared to spatial multiplexing systems,STC-MIMO systems provide robustness of 
communications without providing signi-cant throughput gains. Moreover, they arewell suited to asymmetric situations wherethe transmitter may have more antennas atits disposal than the receiver.
• Diversity systems (DIV-MIMO). Diversity
is a traditional orm o multi-antenna pro-cessing that looks to counteract ast adingeects by creating independent channelsbetween the TX and RX, transmitting thesame signal on all independent channelsand optimally combining the receivedsignals.
Smart antenna (SA-MIMO) systems are
best described as adaptive phased arrayantenna systems that can adap-tively beamorm or beam-null ina particular direction.
Leveraging MIMO forthe military
The true benet o MIMO isnot simply its ability to increasethroughput or reliability, rather,when properly married withthe other elements o the radio,MIMO enables a truly mode-richradio--one that is ideal or opera-tion in non-line-o-sight (NLOS)environments ound in urban can-yons and orested regions. Thisallows a MIMO-enabled radioto exhibit elasticity beyond thato conventional single-antennaradios, and to better adapt to theneeds o the war ghter and theoperational environment.
Examples o use in military-grade com-munications are:
• For communication centers (i.e., ground-
based command posts, ship-to-shore orship-to-ship communication), a highthroughput mode can be used to transerdata at speeds greater than 100 Mbps.
• In a NLOS environment, the radio can use
a physical mode, which lowers the datarate to 10 Mbps in exchange or higherquality o service (QoS). A platoon o tanks proceeding down separate streets inan urban environment can continue cross-communications.
In an environment where jammers are used
in an attempt to disrupt communication, amode sending redundant packets acrossmultiple paths can be used to ensure thatuncorrupted data reaches the receiver.Integrity and consistency saves lives andcontributes to Mission Success.
• In a mobile environment (i.e., tanks or Hum
-vees advancing across open terrain, surveil-
lance UAVs scouring an area of interest), yet
another mode can be used to enable high datarates between ast-moving vehicles.
For covert applications, some solutions
can exploit MIMO modes to transmit ata reduced rate while using an ultra lowtransmit power mode to conceal its elec-tronic signature.
• For real-time video surveillance applica
-tions (i.e., border or perimeter monitoring,real-time battleeld monitoring), a highthroughput, high QoS mode can be used.
• For mesh networks, some solutions take
advantage o all o the refections (i.e.,signals bouncing o hundreds o armoredvehicles) to improve perormance, as op-posed to current single antenna systems,which cannot unction in high-demand,high-intererence environments.
Table 1. Receive SNR required to achieve a95-percentile capacity of 1bps/Hz.
Antenna Confguration MIMO
SISO (1x1)12.8 dB2x21.2 dB4x44.9 dB8x89.3 dB
Figure 2. MIMO capacity increases with array size, whereas phased ar-ray smart antenna systems only improve logarithmically.
   C  a  p  a  c   i   t  y   (   b  p  s   /   H  z   )
Number of receive antennas12103456789
50545025205Number of receive antennas257
95% outage capacityMIMO systemNumber of Tx antenna =Number of Rx antenna
MIMO systemNumber of Tx antenna =Number of Rx antennaTraditional 1x1SISO system does notimprove withmore antennas
Traditional 1x1SISO system does notimprove withmore antennasSmart antenna arraynumber of transmitantenna xed at 1
Smart antenna arraynumber of transmitantenna xed at 1
S8 www.rdesign.com April 2008
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