A Review of Antennas and Propagation for MIMO Wireless Communications
Michael A. Jensen, Senior Member, IEEE, and Jon W. Wallace, Member, IEEE
Invited Paper

Abstract—Multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) wireless systems use multiple antenna elements at transmit and receive to offer improved capacity over single antenna topologies in multipath channels. In such systems, the antenna properties as well as the multipath channel characteristics play a key role in determining communication performance. This paper reviews recent research findings concerning antennas and propagation in MIMO systems. Issues considered include channel capacity computation, channel measurement and modeling approaches, and the impact of antenna element properties and array configuration on system performance. Throughout the discussion, outstanding research questions in these areas are highlighted. Index Terms—Antenna arrays, multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) systems, propagation.

Fig. 1. Simple multipath propagation environment showing two paths between transmit and receive. The arrays are capable of resolving the individual multipaths, enabling increased data throughput.



ULTIPLE-INPUT–MULTIPLE-OUTPUT (MIMO) wireless systems, characterized by multiple antenna elements at the transmitter and receiver, have demonstrated the potential for increased capacity in rich multipath environments [1]–[4]. Such systems operate by exploiting the spatial properties of the multipath channel, thereby offering a new dimension which can be used to enable enhanced communication performance. While coding and signal processing are key elements to successful implementation of a MIMO system, the propagation channel and antenna design represent major parameters that ultimately impact system performance. As a result, considerable research has been devoted recently to these two areas. For example, assessing the potential of MIMO systems requires a new level of understanding concerning multipath channel characteristics. Furthermore, while we have extensive information concerning the behavior of antenna diversity in multipath channels [5], recent activity surrounding MIMO communications has exposed new issues related to the impact of antenna properties and array configuration on system performance. The goal of this paper is to provide both a brief tutorial on MIMO systems suitable for those involved in antenna and propagation research as well as a review of some of the significant
Manuscript received May 9, 2003; revised October 21, 2003. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Wireless Initiative Grant CCR 99-79452 and Information Technology Research Grant CCR-0081476. The authors are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 USA (e-mail: jensen@ee.byu.edu). Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TAP.2004.835272

findings related to antennas and propagation within the context of this communication strategy [6], [7]. However, as with any emerging research arena, the volume of material that has appeared is too large to summarize in one brief paper. As a result, this summary will focus on a subset of these issues, believed by the authors to be key considerations that may spawn additional research activities within the antennas and propagation community. Related findings from multiple independent studies will be synthesized to provide a broader perspective of the state-of-the art in this exciting research field. The remainder of the paper is divided into three main parts. First, Section II provides a tutorial on MIMO systems and demonstrates how the use of multiple antennas can lead to increased capacity bounds. Section III then discusses different measurement and modeling approaches for multipath MIMO channels. Finally, Section IV focuses on the impact of antenna parameters on MIMO system performance. Throughout the discussion, possible future research activities are highlighted. II. MIMO SYSTEM TUTORIAL Before embarking on a detailed discussion of recent research, it is useful to establish some notation, provide a common framework for discussion, and present tutorial material relating to MIMO communication. Throughout this paper, matrices and column vectors are represented as boldface uppercase and lowis the element occupying th row ercase letters, respectively, and th column of the matrix , and is the th element of the vector . A. MIMO Multipath Communication The concept of using spatial (array) processing to enhance communication performance has been well explored. For example, consider a wireless communication node equipped

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The over the pulse-shaping block converts the discrete-time samples into ( is frequency) continuous-time baseband waveforms and feeds them to the channel inputs (RF chains and combines the input signals to antennas). Block diagram of a generic MIMO wireless system. 2. For example. a set of ( is a time index) are resented by the symbol vector discrete-time complex baseband streams encoded into at the transmitter. The channel element output (receive) waveform vector . obtain the The matched filter then produces the discrete-time baseband . Before discussing these concepts in more detail. The coding can distribute the input symbols outputs (space) and/or over samples (time). independent data streams repIn this system. element pattern and polarization properties.JENSEN AND WALLACE: REVIEW OF ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MIMO 2811 Fig. timates of the For linear channel elements. Since the transmit vector is projected onto (1). B. the channel is assumed time invariant over the interval of a transmission block. determine the performance potential for the MIMO system. Communication System Model A general model of a MIMO communication system is represented in Fig. the system can simultaneously communicate with all users with a spectral occupancy equal to that of a single data stream. The radio frequency (RF) components are included in the channel since they influence the end-to-end transfer function. 1 which shows two propagation paths between a transmitter and receiver. For convenience. Therefore. poor design of system components or incorrect assumptions about the channel could lead to drastic reduction in system performance. Using traditional beamforming (or null-steering). array size and configuration. and the space/time decoder generates essample stream transmitted streams . with an -element antenna array that must send data to distinct users. Therefore. 2. however. the MIMO channel input–output relationship may be written as (1) where is additive noise produced by the channel (interference plus noise from the RF front end) and the matrix represents dimensions are as specified. we first define a model for the MIMO communication system to facilitate the presentation. More supported must be at most equal to the rank of . Therefore. which . This same principle can be used in a point-to-point multipath channel. resolution of individual multipaths is often not possible. we will usually drop the frequency dependence and consider narrowband communication. the number of independent data streams ( ) that can be . MIMO implementations must use more advanced array signal processing to exploit the channel spatial resources. consider the scenario depicted in Fig. The figure is divided into 1) signal processing and coding (bottom) and 2) the channel (top). For simplicity. As typical wireless channels consist of many different closely spaced (in angle) paths. the properties of its singular values. the system can synthesize an array response to transmit data to a single user while placing nulls on the remaining users. Factors such as antenna impedance matching. If the arrays can resolve the two multipaths. the system can encode a unique data stream on each propagation path. resulting in an increase in communication capacity without an increase in required bandwidth. by synthesizing a unique pattern for each user and encoding a unique data stream on each pattern. and multipath propagation characteristics influence these properties. mutual coupling. such as the distribution of generally. Each element the transfer function between the th transmit and th receive in antenna.

where is the free-space wavelength. with each cluster consisting of a central plane wave with two additional waves. MIMO Beamforming We now consider the situation where the transmitter and re1 ceiver know the channel matrix . Here. NOVEMBER 2004 is justified when the channel response is constant over the system bandwidth (flat fading) or when signals are divided into narrowband frequency bins and processed independently. one for each data stream. with field strengths 0. . the performance deteriorates rapidly. choice of an approach will depend on anticipated . column of . is simply to communicate using the individual element patterns. In practice. 3(b) shows the eigenpatterns that result when a three-element array is used for the same channel. VOL. only the first columns of . Consider the example of ten vertical dipoles along the axis with a uniform spacing of . Therefore. 3(a). applying each element of can be then the maximum likelihood estimate of the vector obtained (under the assumption of spatially white Gaussian noise) from (3) represents a pseudo-inverse operation. clusters are centered at ( ). Dominant three receive eigenpatterns created for a channel consisting of three plane wave clusters centered at the angles indicated by the arrows: (a) ten-element array and (b) three-element array. However. Three “clusters” of plane waves with propagation vectors in the horizontal plane arrive at the receiver. Since the matrix of singular values is diis a scaled version of the transmit agonal. This highlights the effect of the spatial dimension. This is the where basic principle behind the well-publicized VBLAST algorithm [9]. Also. In this case. often providing excellent performance. the fraction of power allocated to each eigenchannel should be chosen to optimize the capacity. use of the SVD encoding/decoding coupled with optimal power allocation over the eigen- Fig. The ( ). the number of independent streams should correspond to the number of singular values that are above the noise floor. a simpler strategy. Using . (2) indicates that vector corrupted by additive noise. Under certain circumstances. Since each element of multiplies the corresponding column of . where the singular value decomposition (SVD) denotes a conjugate transpose. 52. 11. a topic considered briefly in Section II-D. NO. This scheme is attractive as it does not require the transmitter to know . these eigenpatterns can be directly related to the propagation scenario. shown in Fig. The receive eigenpatterns corresponding to the three largest singular values. beamforming using the singular vectors of as array weights has produced eigenpatterns that create independent (spatially orthogonal) parallel communication channels in the multipath environment (see [8] for detailed discussion). are focused on these clusters. then the eigenpatterns achieve a superposition of the waves in an effort to maximize performance. and should be used in the processing and analysis. Let the unencoded transmit vector in the waveform domain be denoted as .7 times the central wave strength. it becomes clear that if the array cannot resolve the multipaths. this operation suggests that each represents array weights for each signal stream. indicating that The receiver performs the operation each row of (column of ) represents the receive array and are unitary. a unique factor of MIMO communications. Fig. Compromise techniques have also been proposed wherein the transmit beamforming is accomplished using long-term channel statistics rather than deterministic channel knowledge. channels provides optimal communication performance. we encode the transmit vector as . from weights for each stream. and ignores the complexity of the wide-band channel response.2812 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION. which typically must be fed back from the receiver where channel estimation is performed. C. however. Certainly. This accomplished by directly to each antenna. is that if the propagation environment creates a rank-deficient channel matrix . ( ). Because the eigenchannels are the most efficient “basis” for communicating over the channel. Note that each of these eigenchannels in general exploits all multipath components. If . Because (1) we obtain (2) where . 10 either side of the center. The key liability with this uninformed transmitter approach. 3. [10]. in rank deficient channels.

(EVD). and is the that power gain of the th eigenchannel. Therefore. The values of maximize (8) can be determined using Lagrange multipliers to obtain the water-filling solution [4]. [11]. or the transmit antennas to form . The capacity expression then becomes (8) represents the optimal transmit power on the th where unencoded stream ( th orthogonal eigenpattern). The diagonal . For a transmit vector plex Gaussian-distributed random variables. if pulse shaping and matched filtering are included. and therefore the constraint limits the total transmit power. [13]. For the waveform channel in (1). with increased correlation resulting in decreased in (7)]. although here the channels may have unequal SNR values . 3) Channel Matrix Normalization: Since capacity depends on receive SNR. 2) Uninformed Transmitter Capacity: When the transmitter does not know . If only one transmission line is used to send data. consider the simple case of uncoupled transmission lines. we assume that has independent Gaussian-distributed elements with equal variwhose elements are comance .4). the increased capacity stems from improving the quality of these channels (increasing the magnitudes of the four largest singular values of ) due to enhanced ability to create transmit radiation patterns that best excite the propagation environment. (4. Note that the capacity [reduction in some values represents the covariance term of the received signal in the absence of noise. represent the transmit power from each antenna. the capacity becomes (5) where we have assumed equal receiver noise. With this definition.1) case is 20 dB. where elements of the transmit covariance is the expectation. For the MIMO system described by (1). For optimal pulse shaping and matched filtering. The increase in capacity is observed by recognizing that the multiplication by outside the logarithm more than offsets the division by inside the logarithm. 1) Water-Filling Capacity: Determining capacity involves that maximizes (6). However. If the scheme identifying the covariance presented in Section II-C based on the SVD of is used. it is important to properly normalize channel . a disand results. this quantity represents the highest error-free MIMO transmission rate for a given transfer matrix under optimal space/time-coding and modulation. and (12. For the case (12. 4 shows the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of capacity obtained via the water-filling solution for the cases where (1. This method allocates power to the high-gain channels and in general does not use weaker channels.4) [8].JENSEN AND WALLACE: REVIEW OF ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MIMO 2813 channel characteristics coupled with complexity/performance constraints. and is the total transmit power. so that the represents the received signal power level in the eigenvalue th eigenchannel. the penalty paid for an uninformed transmitter is relatively small [14]. D. The SNR for the (1. Intuitively. Therefore. the continuous and discrete domains are related through Nyquist bits/use for an sampling [11]. These conditions lead to bits/s/Hz. Note that this is that consistent with the notion that the unencoded transmit streams represented in are independent. it can be shown must be diagonal to maximize (6)[4]. capacity represents the transmission rate per Hertz of bandwidth (bits/s/Hz).1). it can equally divide the power among independent streams. underlying waveform channel with capacity expressions below are valid for complex baseband channels in both discrete and continuous time provided that proper signal/noise power definitions are used. the expression for channel capacity is (6) (7) where is an eigenvector decomposition is the determinant. only four parallel channels can be constructed from the system. the Shannon channel capacity will be [11] (4) where is the receiver SNR. is the identity matrix. the capacity crete-time channel relating of which represents the bits conveyed per transmission time slot (bits/use). To see how parallel spatial channels can increase capacity. The Shannon channel capacity [11] has emerged as the de facto measure of choice for MIMO system analysis [12]. [14]. The off-diagonal elements of represent the correlation between the transmitted signal streams. MIMO System Capacity It is convenient to define a single metric that captures both the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and multipath spatial characteristics to represent the quality of the MIMO channel. then (since is unitary) and define we see that .4). Fig. The channel matrix is constructed using Monte Carlo simulations with the channel model discussed in Section III-A2. Significant capacity gain is observed when moving from 1 to 4 antennas. the form in (7) explicitly shows the relationship between MIMO capacity and the model in (5). A simple computational example serves to illustrate the capacity gains available from this solution. is the trace. Substitution into (6) results in the uninformed transmit capacity [2] (9) For full-rank channel matrices at high SNR. Therefore. If the transmit power is instead equally divided among the lines.

normalized channel matrices are comtrices puted as (10) is the Frobenius norm. however. 52. Reprinted from [8] with matrices for correct interpretation of results. CDF of capacity for (M = N permission (© 2000 IEEE). Channel measurements have been conducted to explore the effect of branch correlation on MIMO channel capacity.2814 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION. Several other studies have used experimental observations and analytical or simulation results to arrive at the same conclusion that increased signal correlation significantly degrades MIMO performance [21]–[26]. This weighting can be on the arrival phase due to antenna location (spatial diversity).45 GHz using uniform linear arrays of quarter-wavelength dipoles [20]. As we pack more antennas into our array. We emphasize. The results indicate an excellent agreement between the measured and ideal 2 2 channel due to the wide antenna separation and resulting low correlation. or on magnitude and phase due to antenna pattern (angle diversity) or polarization characteristics (polarization diversity) [5]. 5 shows the resulting array length is maintained at complementary CDF (CCDF) of capacity per number of transmit and receive antennas. For channel ma. Using normalizing each matrix independently. 1). these resources are used to transmit and/or receive duplicate copies of a single information stream to increase the reliability of detection. The number of elements in the array are varied while the overall . which neglects signal correlation. 4. Fig. that low correlation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for good MIMO performance. As an example. (4. or preserves the relative power levels among the channels. . . which in turn decreases the channel capacity [17]–[19]. we examine data taken indoors at 2. are also shown. average SNR of a single antenna system and is referred to as the single-input single-output (SISO) SNR. This relationship implies that the traditional mechanisms used in diversity systems for reducing branch signal correlation generally work to improve MIMO performance as well. the capacity per antenna drops due to higher correlation between adjacent elements. 4) for a simple channel model and a (1. Diversity and Spatial Multiplexing We have established that MIMO systems exploit the channel spatial degrees of freedom to increase communication performance. spatial multiplexing indicates sending distinct information streams over the channels to increase throughput and spectral efficiency. The differences in path loss among a number of channel matrices may be removed by . This low correlation is achieved when each antenna provides a unique weighting to each individual multipath component based on its DOD/DOA. III. NOVEMBER 2004 Fig. Many systems use some combination of these mechanisms. The mix of diversity and spatial multiplexing accomplished with a MIMO system will depend on the throughput and quality-of-service requirements of the application [15]. The rich scattering required to achieve this condition generally also produces low SNR. When normalized matrices where represents the are used in the capacity expressions. 11. MIMO CHANNEL MEASUREMENT AND MODELING Assessing the performance of MIMO systems in realistic environments requires a detailed description of the multipath . In traditional antenna diversity. VOL. In contrast.N = N ) = (1. and (12. since the propagation environment must also possess the appropriate characteristics (keyhole channels discussed in Section III-C support this statement). 4). Monte Carlo simulations using the channel model in Section III-A2. Note that low correlation generally occurs for a large set of multipaths with large angular spread. NO. 1) SNR of 20 dB. [16]. E.

In cases where only power correlation information is available. and a host of other quantities. since relatively few such campaigns have been performed and the resulting data is not widely available. [58]. and time). Measured capacity as a function of location using 16-element transmit/receive arrays in an urban environment compared with simulated capacities. Capacity CCDF’s per number of antennas for transmit/receive arrays of increasing number of elements. these models facilitate performance assessment of potential space-time coding approaches in realistic propagation environments. where all antennas operate simultaneously. Many studies assume no correlation between the signals on . Many of the deployed instruments use a true array system. [32]–[55]. Although this method has the advantage of eliminating mutual coupling. channel matrix rank. A variety of measurements have appeared using such direct measurement platforms [17]. a complete channel matrix measurement often takes several seconds or minutes. The array length is 2:25 for all cases. Fig. 6 shows the evolution of capacity with distance traveled for an urban environment (Manhattan. 6. signal correlation structure (in space. respectively. as we must accurately represent a matrix of transfer functions. path loss. channel measurements are used to fully characterize these channels. however. Transfer Matrix Characterization 1) Transfer Matrix Measurement: The most straightforward approach to characterizing the MIMO wireless channel is to deploy a system that directly measures the channel matrix . A. The linear transmit and rectangular receive arrays each used 16 elements of alternating polarization. Therefore. In this case. frequency. respectively [5].JENSEN AND WALLACE: REVIEW OF ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MIMO 2815 Fig. If correlation structure is to be included. This description must go beyond traditional models or measurement campaigns. If the fading statistics at transmit . This combination indicates that the individual complex elements of are circularly symmetric complex Gaussian random variables. all components in the top box in Fig. with high-speed switches sequentially connecting all array elements to the electronics [56]. [20]. Other measurement systems employ either switched array or virtual array architectures. [57]. 5 was obtained with such a system. indicating that the measurement over all antenna pairs can be conducted before the channel changes appreciably for most environments of practical interest. Suffixes M and S correspond to measured (solid lines) and simulated (dashed lines) channels. channel. 2) Transfer Matrix Modeling: The simplest channel models directly compute the transfer matrix based upon a statistical description. the elementwise square root of the power covariance matrix (the covariance of the vector with elements ) is sometimes used instead of the complex covariance matrix. virtual arrays are most suitable for fixed indoor measurement campaigns when activity is low. The measured data shown in Fig. Switched array designs use a single transmitter and single receiver to measure the transfer function. In this case. Reprinted from [37] with permission (© 2003 IEEE). a covariance matrix must be constructed either directly from measured data or from a correlation model. New York City) obtained with a true array system at a SNR of 10 dB [37]. requiring a long channel mean stationary time. delay spread. This data shows the variation in capacity as the quality of the channel varies with position. For example. Such systems most closely model realworld MIMO communication and can accommodate channels that vary in time. When accurate. many researchers have turned to channel models that capture the key behaviors observed in the experimental data [27]–[31]. the distribution is completely specified by the complex covariance matrix . Switching times for such systems are generally very low (2 to 100 ms). 2 are embedded in the channel. and the measurements will only be applicable for the analysis of systems employing the same array configurations and antenna elements. include the mutual coupling of the antenna array and the cost of the parallel transmit and receive electronics. [59]. where and stacks the columns of the matrix argument into a single column vector. Fig. leading to independent matrix different antennas. In some cases. or entries. it is commonly assumed that the transfer function between one transmit and one receive antenna will have a magnitude and phase that follow Rayleigh and uniform distributions. Results from such campaigns include channel capacity. 5. More will be addressed about the “predicted” curve in this plot in Section III-A2. Virtual array instruments use precision displacement (or rotation) of a single antenna element to prescribed locations [18]. The drawbacks. However. in a non line-of-sight (NLOS) propagation environment.

basis matching techniques [69]. NOVEMBER 2004 and receive are assumed to be independent. and are unit vectors in the propagation direction. where . and represents the Kronecker product. if the multipath arrivals are uniformly distributed in angle in the azimuthal plane. Another study has confirmed this error in the capacity as well as error in the joint statistics of the resulting transfer matrix [65]. each multipath component corresponds to a plane wave arriving at a specific time and direction at the receiver due to energy launched in a specific transmit direction. Assuming only far-field propagation mechanisms. [62]. the fields at the receiver are typically modeled as a discrete set of plane-waves according to (12) is the Dirac delta function. direction of arrival (DOA) . respectively. The two curves are for taking the distance of about expectation over the entire distance and over segments of (and then averaging the 10 covariance results). This representation models the channel in wavenumber space according to the directional impulse response . Fig. but using covariance matrices estimated directly from the experimental data. Error associated with estimating the covariance matrix of measured data using the Kronecker product structure as a function of the array sizes. Nevertheless. can be created with the form and are covariance matrices for signals on the where transmit and receive arrays. [60]–[62]. 52. These estimates are computed from data taken over a measurement . 7. where and are vectors associated with receive and transmit wavenumber (direction). a separable covariance structure. The “predicted” curve in Fig. B. 11. or parametric estimation algorithms such as ESPRIT [67]. perhaps due to more variation in the structure of the propagation environment [64]. NO. clearly some discrepancies exist. work in this field has set the stage for more current activities. [37]. 6 is obtained using this complex Gaussian model. respectively. Multipath Characterization Another philosophy regarding MIMO channel characterization is to directly describe the properties of the physical multipath propagation channel. 7 shows a plot of the normalized error as a function of . recent work has demonstrated key deficiencies in this Kronecker product model [63]. An important research activity involves finding models with this level of simplicity that properly capture the channel behavior. the elements of the wide-band channel matrix become (14) . the joint statistics are not. time of arrival (TOA) . and recent augmentations have been shown to provide some increased accuracy [66]. Improved accuracy can then be achieved using more sophisticated models as outlined below. [71]. [70]. phase . estimated from measured data. Ideally. and the th multipath where component has amplitude . transmit. In fact. referred to as the “Kronecker” product model . with wave propagation at the speed of light. . These results imply that while the statistics of the transfer matrix elements are marginally complex Gaussian. the multipath parameters may be measured using conventional beamforming [68]. and therefore facilitates assessment of space-time codes using Monte Carlo simulation approaches. and receive covariance and matrices. is the coordiwhere plane. The error is reduced when the computation is performed over larger segments. and is the nate of the th antenna element in the vector norm. 2. is time. one study has demonstrated that the Kronecker structure leads to high errors not only in the computed capacity but also in the covariance matrix representation [64].2816 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION. While early Fig. particularly as the array sizes grow. VOL. With the directional impulse response known. While the general trend is accurate. Intuitively. When the true channel behavior is well represented by (12). However. This approach is very simple to implement. respectively. Furthermore. where and are field radiation patterns and and are phase center coordinates for the th receive and th transmit antennas in the receive and transmit spaces. For simplicity. the transfer matrix elements for particular transmit and receive antenna arrays (assuming ideal voltage sampling) are obtained through the relationship shown in (13) at the bottom of the next page. If is specified as in (12). and single polarization has been assumed. Some studies have shown that this model is highly effective in matching measured results for systems with up to four antenna elements [61]. it is the recent double-directional channel characterization that is most useful for MIMO channel assessment [67]. and direction of departure (DOD) . such measurements are independent of the properties associated with the measurement antennas. then these covariance matrices can be computed from [5] (11) is the zeroth order Bessel function. the simplicity of this model makes it an attractive starting point in the analysis of any MIMO system. lengths Very large error is apparent. represented by the small dotted box in Fig. represent the total.

8 shows an outdoor scene (backyard) with the estimated DOA/DOD of the multipaths obtained using ESPRIT on data taken with a virtual transmit array/switched receive array channel probing system [72]. bandwidth) are inadequate to resolve them all. For example. A fairly complete review of directional modeling techniques can be found in [27]. curved wavefronts or evanescent fields may be present that do not conform to the model. model are violated. Models capturing multipath behavior range in complexity from deterministic site-specific ray-tracing to simpler statistical descriptions. channels reconstructed from (12) will most likely under predict capacity due to lost information and power. Capacity versus array size obtained from simulations using measured multipath parameters in line-of-sight (LOS) and nonline-of-sight (NLOS) environments. When the assumptions of the Fig. 9. for different array sizes using this concept. Here we briefly describe a few techniques that have recently been applied to MIMO modeling. Diagram of an outdoor backyard environment with plane wave departure and arrivals obtained through measurement. since in that case the antennas become part of the measured channel. Reprinted from [72] with permission (© 2002 IEEE). 8. Fig. This post-measurement flexibility is not possible with direct measurements of . Reprinted from [72] with permission (© 2002 IEEE). rough surfaces and random media produce diffuse scattering. The system center frequency and bandwidth were 5. 9 plots the 10% outage capacity (which simply means that the capacity is lower than this only 10% of the time). More research is needed to determine the properties of realistic propagation and to evaluate the accuracy of channel response reconstructions based on (12). Also. A limitation of characterizing the measured channel as discrete plane waves is that realistic scattering often generates fields poorly represented by this model. The vector length corresponds to the gain of each estimated path. Finally. respectively. even if the multipath is discrete. if scattering objects are not in the far field of the antennas. Fig. generating a continuum of departure and arrival directions. This data can then be used to assess the MIMO performance for any desired transmit/antenna configuration as well as for local movement of the arrays within this environment. (13) .JENSEN AND WALLACE: REVIEW OF ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MIMO 2817 Fig. the multipath components may be so numerous that the system resources (number of elements.2 GHz and 120 MHz.

despite potentially large angle spread. 10. We point out that around “43” on the horizontal axis in Fig. scatterers are modeled as discrete objects located about the receiver and/or transmitter. [111]. the results can be combined with a random distribution for phase [82]–[85] to create a complete model. due to its ability to analyze very large structures with reasonable computational resources. Recent studies have further combined ray-tracing with full-wave electromagnetic solvers to model objects with features that are comparable to the illumination wavelength [79]. NO. we observe a large measured capacity drop while the simulated capacity remains relatively high (implying low correlation). Other work has combined the cluster and discrete scattering models to include both distant and local scattering [110]. et al. and angular clustering of multipath arrivals [88]. these models can offer highly accurate channel representations (in a statistical sense). Ray-tracing studies have also led to the development of simpler statistical models such as those described in Section III-B. Assuming either a single-bounce or double-bounce scattering mechanism. with error standard deviations of 3–7 dB being reported. Most current models are based on initial work by Turin. the locally scattered components. a single cluster of arrivals might correspond to a single scattering object and the arrivals within the cluster arise due to smaller object features. Further work is needed to identify how much model detail is required to correctly represent the channel. In this case. and spatial correlation [97]–[100]. These findings underscore the fact that MIMO system performance cannot always be determined by traditional average metrics such as antenna signal correlation. statistical scatterer characterization can lead to convenient. Such models can also provide statistical channel information by applying Monte Carlo analysis on many random transmit/receive locations and/or model geometries. angular spread. capacity variation with array location and antenna spacing [26]. In more advanced models. [112]–[114]. VOL. leading to little or no capacity gain. Fig. The good agreement observed between the measured and simulated results is superior to that obtained with direct transfer matrix modeling approaches for fixed covariance. Ray-tracing techniques have demonstrated reasonable accuracy in predicting large-scale path loss variation. [80]. the channel response may be rapidly computed. the “birth” and “death” of clusters due to movement of the subscriber can be taken into account [104]. more approximate models have appeared that assume simplified geometries and scattering mechanisms. This point corresponds to measurement through a tunnel and appears to be a result of keyhole propagation. and amplitude. However. TOA. since channel capacity depends on each instantaneous realization of the channel matrix and not just average correlation properties. 10 compares probability density functions (PDFs) of capacity obtained from channel remeasurements and Monte Carlo simulations ( alizations) from one such model for a 4 4 system operating in an indoor environment [65]. [93]. will all contain essentially the same information. or their locations and cross-sections can be defined statistically. 11. the multipaths travel from the area local to the transmitter to the area local to the receiver via one dominant path. Ray-tracing simulations have been used to study MIMO channel characteristics such as spatial-signature variation with small-scale movement [86]. These objects can represent site-specific obstacles. preliminary comparisons of ray-tracing predictions with measurements indicate that the simulations tend to underestimate MIMO channel capacity [81]. [101] who observed that multipath components can be grouped into clusters that decay exponentially with in- Fig. [105]–[109] and ray-tracing [104]. The technique is based on geometrical optics. [69]. NOVEMBER 2004 Further work is needed to explore these models and improve their ability to represent key physical channel characteristics. Provided that the underlying statistical distributions are properly specified. Intuitively. likely due more to over-simplification of the geometrical scenario representation than failure of the electromagnetic simulation approach. C. Comparison of capacity PDFs for 4 channel model simulations. closed-form statistical distributions on delay spread. in [89]–[96]. For example. despite the presence of scatterers local to the transmitting and receiving nodes. 2) Geometric Discrete Scattering Models: Due to the high computational cost of rigorous ray-tracing simulations. Statistical descriptions of the multipath arrival parameters have been obtained through measurements [69]. 3) Statistical Cluster Models: Statistical cluster models directly specify distributions on the multipath DOD/DOA.2818 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION.3. [92]. These models also allow for dynamic channel evolution by computing the response as the transmitter or receiver moves through the environment. . Keyhole (Pinhole) Channels Keyhole channels occur when. At the receiver. Finally. A variety of simple studies have demonstrated the possibility of such channels and have quantified the performance of MIMO systems in this environment [30]. [103]. 6. A simple example of this would be two outdoor regions connected by a single tunnel. often supplemented by diffraction theory to enhance accuracy in shadowed regions. [87]. Other recent work [82] shows promising agreement in exact DOAs of measured and simulated micro-cells. The response of the model to electromagnetic excitation may then be computed through computational techniques. Later work applied the model to indoor scenarios [102] and added directional information [65]. ffRay-tracing [73]–[78] has emerged as the most popular technique for the analysis of site-specific scenarios. 52. 2 4 measured data and multipath creasing delay time. 1) Deterministic Ray-Tracing: Deterministic site-specific modeling begins by creating a two dimensional (2-D) or 3-D computer model of a propagation environment.

leading to low capacity. the essentially omnidirectional pattern created by most small elements results in relatively large values of . Mathematically. THE IMPACT OF ANTENNAS ON MIMO PERFORMANCE As previously mentioned. 11. Array Configuration It is important to emphasize that the transfer matrix in (1) depends not only on the propagation environment but also on the array configurations. assuming two antennas with the same phase center (or closely spaced phase centers).JENSEN AND WALLACE: REVIEW OF ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MIMO 2819 IV. This is difficult to answer definitively. The base station antennas included single and dual polarization array and multibeam Fig. The results show that the lower gain dipoles offer superior capacity (by about 10%). and mutual coupling can impact this correlation. The arrays on the mobile were constructed from monopoles to achieve spatial. This section discusses how antenna properties such as pattern. These results suggest that average capacity is relatively insensitive to array configuration. since the optimal array shape depends on the site-specific propagation characteristics. the capacity bound in (4) is independent of the antenna (other than the antenna gain). structures. a single incident wave polarization. The conclusions drawn above are based on comparisons of average capacity for different array configurations. Studies have shown that an intelligently-selected sub-array can provide improved capacity [118]–[122] or lower probability of symbol error [123] relative to the performance of fixed arrays. with the exception of the multibeam base station antennas which resulted in a 40–50% reduction in measured capacity since generally only one of the beams pointed in the direction of the mobile. when element patterns are appropriately designed to minimize (15). The strong dependence of MIMO capacity on array configuration is therefore troubling since this number is not a true upper bound on the physical channel throughput. One suggested approach for realizing such a situation involves the use of multi-mode antennas where the patterns for different modes exhibit high orthogonality (low correlation) in the form of (15)[116]. sensing the three Cartesian vector components of the electric and magnetic fields can provide six uncorrelated signals at the receiver [125]. a situation achieved when the correlation between signals on the different antennas is low. to be small. we desire the signal correlacomponents satisfy a PDF tion [115] (15) where is the pattern of the th antenna. Fig. since these antennas put more energy into the horizontal plane where most of the multipath components are concentrated. Simulated and measured outage capacities for arrays of 2 dipole and spiral antennas in an indoor environment as a function of antenna spacing. This creates new research avenues in identifying antenna elements and arrays that provide optimal or near-optimal performance. As an example. MIMO systems perform best when the transfer matrix is full rank. although some general observations are possible. A. In response to this. Another important aspect of element radiation pattern involves the manner in which the antenna excites the multipath environment. [127]. C. Finally. we observe that for single antenna systems. polarization. Element Polarization Recent work has suggested that in a rich multipath environment. B. This conclusion can be understood by recognizing that for large multipath angle spread. The question becomes which array topology is best in terms of maximizing capacity (perhaps in an average sense over a variety of propagation channels) or minimizing symbol error rates. 11 shows measured (using a switched array system) and simulated (using a statistical path-based channel model) capacities for the two antennas in an indoor environment. Alternatively. and that the arrival angles of the multipath . array configuration. angle. Reprinted from [117] with permission (© 2002 IEEE). then capacity gains are possible. . First. and/or polarization diversity. However. the combined polarization and angle diversity offered by three orthogonally-oriented electric and magnetic Hertzian dipoles at a point can lead to six uncorrelated signals [126]. we can consider an adaptive system that selectively connects a subset of available antennas to the electronic modules. All of the array configurations provided very similar performance. a recent study has compared the capacity performance of dipole antennas with that of higher-gain spiral antennas whose radiation patterns tend to be more directive toward 45 and 135 in elevation [117]. Element Radiation Pattern Angle diversity results when antennas have distinct radiation patterns. recent work has formulated the Intrinsic Capacity for a specific channel and spatial antenna apertures independent of the array configuration [124]. When the antenna phase centers are closely spaced so that angle diversity is the dominant factor. there is a notable study where several different array types were explored for both the base station and the mobile unit in an outdoor environment [45]. Finding other antenna topologies that offer this orthogonality in a compact form factor remains an area of active research.

Fig. in the common case where two polarizations are used. [136]–[142]. The key advantage to using two polarizations is that regardless of the environment. It has also offered a review of recent research activities and findings related to antennas and propagation in MIMO communications. First. because of the induced angle diversity combined with improved power collection capability of coupled antennas [134]. V. As can be seen. Experimental results demonstrate capacity gains of around 10–20% from using dual-polarization over single-polarization spatially-separated elements in an indoor environment [20]. Reprinted from [146] with permission (© 2002 IEEE). The result is a transfer matrix that exhibits low correlation (high diversity) coupled with weak channel gain between the two orthogonally polarized channels (reduced SNR) [16]. The design and fabrication of other practical antennas that can exploit polarization remains an area where further research is warranted. Three hundred Monte Carlo realizations are used to obtain the mean capacities given for the case where the antennas are terminated in a self-impedance match. Second. . One interesting geometry is a cube consisting of dipole antennas to obtain a high-degree of polarization diversity in a compact form [128]. 52. 11. Using halfwavelength dipoles and full-wavelength loops leads to strong mutual coupling and nonideal pattern characteristics that can reduce the number of independent channels. These approaches construct the transfer function relating the signals at the receiver electronics to signals input at the transmit antenna terminals and accurately compute the received SNR on each branch. only two channels exist corresponding to ( the two possible polarizations of the incident plane wave. 13 plots the capacity as a function of the number of ) transmit and receive half-wavelength dipoles ( packed into a linear array of length [146]. [130]–[133]. demonstrating the large variety and volume of work that has recently been accomplished in this arena. the strong coupling between elements packed into the same physical space will ultimately lead to an upper bound on capacity performance. Six independent communication modes are enabled only for full multipath angle spread. VOL. the capacity of two coupled dipoles can be higher than that of uncoupled antennas (through proper termination). 12. [144]. More comprehensive studies have examined the effect of coupling and antenna termination on the capacity [143]–[146]. Furthermore. constructing a multi-polarized antenna that can achieve this bound is problematic. typical scattering leads to a co-polarized received signal that is 4 to 10 dB higher than the cross-polarized signal level [129]. Two main conclusions have surfaced as a result of these studies. [20]. at least two parallel channels are enabled. for a fixed-length array. Fig. It has long been known that the pattern distortion from close antenna spacing creates angle diversity that can lead to reduced signal correlation [115]. [135]. 13. This model is then augmented to include the mutual impedance of the antennas and terminations using network theory. Fig. From a practical standpoint. Finally. NOVEMBER 2004 Fig. For example. NO. This review has shown that issues related to antennas and electromagnetic propagation play a significant role in determining MIMO system performance. CONCLUSION This paper has provided a tutorial on the operation of MIMO wireless communication systems and illustrated how multiple antennas can lead to increased system capacity for multipath communication channels. particularly for small dipole spacing where coupling is high [143]. Mutual Coupling Antenna mutual coupling is a key issue of concern for MIMO systems [134]. leading to an upper capacity bound for a given about aperture length. Impact of mutual coupling on arrays of length 5 as the number of elements increases. The propagation (field) channel model is that in Section III-A2 with covariance computed as the product of Bessel functions [similar to that in (11)]. 12 plots the effective number of polarization-based communication channels as a function of multipath arrival spread ) for several different elevation in azimuth ( ). Plot of the effective number of communication channels as a function of azimuthal angle spread for several different elevation angle spreads. this analysis predicts significant capacity reduction compared to a system where coupling is neglected for spacing smaller than . For a single propagation path spreads ( ). D.2820 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION.

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Technical Rep. respectively. J. microwave circuit design. Provo.” in Proc.” in Proc. During 1997. Technol. vol. UT. Veh. Ramirez and F. “Signal correlations in coupled cell and MIMO antennas. [140] C. From 1989 to 1991. H.” Lincoln Laboratory. in 1990 and 1991. Lett. and W. Technol. He was the Technical Program Chair for the 2000 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and the General Co-Chair for the IEEE Topical Conference on Wireless Communications in 2003. VOL. Provo. 2. 2001.D. R.” in Proc. 4. 3. and Signal Processing. He currently serves on the Joint Meetings Committee for the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and as an Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION. “Termination-dependent diversity performance of coupled an[144] tennas: Network theory analysis. Wheeler Applications Prize Paper Award in the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION in 2002. Simon. Symp. vol. Acoustics. IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Int. Tech. 2002. Symp. 28. pp. Bolcskei. vol. 1984. 2485–2488. [138] T. UT. CO. 1259–1266. 128–133. San Antonio. UT. vol. 1993. Leifer. R. and S. 2000. pp. [139] M.T. Jan. pp. Jensen. Safar. W. UT. 194–197. degrees in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University (BYU). . M.I. “Compact antenna arrays for MIMO applications. Canada. L. IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Int. 52. Salt Lake City. Moustakas. Miki and M. [137] T. NO. BYU. “Performance analysis of compact antenna arrays with MRC in correlated nakagami fading channels. numerical electromagnetics. he worked as an Associate of Novell. vol.D. Jon W. Rep. he was a Graduate Student Researcher in the Antenna Laboratory. June 16–21. He was awarded the best student paper award at the 1994 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation. McLaughlin. and optical fiber communications.. where he is currently an Associate Professor. Michael A. 2001. and Signal Processing. Symp.. and remote sensing. NOVEMBER 2004 [133] H. Wheeler Applications Prize Paper Award in theIEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION in 2002. Incorporated. A. pp. and the Ph.” IEEE Antennas Wireless Propagat. J. 1966.” in Proc. 2002. he visited the Technical University of Vienna Mobile Communications Group. Hagen. From 1991 to 1994. no.. pp. UT. Stoytchev. 3. 1. 267–277. Antenna Theory: Analysis and Design.” Radio Sci. VT-33.

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