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MIMO Air-to-Air Communications

Javier Rodrı́guez-Fernández† , Nuria González-Prelcic† , and Robert W. Heath Jr.‡

† Universidade de Vigo, Email: {jrodriguez,nuria}@gts.uvigo.es

‡ The University of Texas at Austin, Email: {rheath}@utexas.edu

Abstract—We consider a multi-user (MU) millimeter wave beams are steered in the analog domain, not in digital. This

(mmWave) network of aerial vehicles. One aircraft acts as an introduces new challenges in the areas of channel estimation,

access point that communicates with multiple airborne users beam training, beam adaptation, and MU MIMO processing

through mmWave communication links. We focus on the problem

of estimating and tracking the multi-user mmWave frequency- [5] that are not present in conventional MIMO systems.

selective MIMO channel, leveraging prior information about The efficiency of mmWave systems can be enhanced by

the position and trajectory of each user (aerial vehicle). We serving multiple users simultaneously using the principles

develop a channel estimation and tracking strategy based on of MU MIMO communication. Implementing MU MIMO

compressed sensing tools which introduces a low overhead, even in mmWave requires a mixture of analog and digital beam-

when operating in the high mobility aerial scenario. We show by

simulation that, even with a reduced number of training symbols forming, which is called hybrid precoding and combining

and in the low SNR regime, the new channel estimation and [5]. Beam training and adaptation is more challenging when

tracking algorithm provides channel state information (CSI) of multiple users are involved. Preliminary work on MU MIMO

enough quality to obtain and maintain near-optimal values of mmWave systems indicates that multiple users can be served

spectral efficiency. simultaneously with each user achieving performance close

to that corresponding to exclusive use of the channel [6].

I. I NTRODUCTION

Consequently, the benefits of MU MIMO and mmWave can

High data rate networking between manned and unmanned be achieved jointly, at least for small numbers of active users.

aerial vehicles enables revolutionary applications. For ex- In this paper, we consider a MU multiple-input multiple-

ample, in a system with several platforms, high data rate output (MIMO) system based on hybrid architectures to im-

communication could enable real or near real time sensor plement an aerial network. An aircraft acts as the access

fusion, improving the utility of intelligence, surveillance, and point, while other aerial vehicles communicate through the

reconnaissance payloads. Unmanned aerial platforms have also access point via aerial-to-aerial (A2A) mmWave communi-

been proposed to provide communications coverage to areas cation links. We focus on the problem of the design of

unreachable by traditional networks [1], [2]. In particular, channel estimation and tracking algorithms with low overhead,

networks of unmanned aerial vehicles implementing ad-hoc which is essential in a high mobility scenario. We design

networking approaches can be used to relay data from aircraft an algorithm based on sparse recovery tools that leverage

to aircraft [2]. position and trajectory information to obtain knowledge of

In this paper, we assume that mmWave is the key technology the aerial channel. Rate analysis is also provided for the case

to enable high data rate communication between aerial vehi- of precoders and combiners designed with imperfect channel

cles. There is more spectrum available in mmWave bands from knowledge obtained with the proposed algorithm.

30 GHz to 300 GHz than available in sub 6 GHz bands where

II. S YSTEM MODEL

most military communication takes place [3]. The mmWave

band has already been leveraged in commercial applications We consider the multi-user A2A communication network

[4] including WPAN, WLAN, and backhaul. Additionally, shown in Fig. 1, where U drones communicate with a BS using

it will be a part of future 5G cellular networks [5]. These the MIMO-OFDM paradigm. The u-th drone is assumed to be

applications forecast data rates of many gigabits per second in equipped with a hybrid MIMO architecture, and uses a hybrid

(n) (n)

each link. precoder F(n)

u [k] , FRF,u FBB,u [k] to communicate a vector

(n)

The design of a mmWave communication system is chal- su [k] of Ns,u data streams to the aerial BS during the n-th

(n)

lenging due to the use of directional beamforming, where the channel slot. The frequency-flat matrix FRF,u ∈ CNT,u ×LT,u is

termed the analog precoder, where NT,u , LT,u are the number

This work was supported in part by the Spanish Government and the of transmit antennas and RF chains of the u-th drone, and

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under project MYRADA (n)

TEC2016-75103-C2-2-R, and the Lockheed Martin Corporation under project FBB,u [k] ∈ CLT,u ×Ns,u is the frequency-selective baseband

“MU-MIMO Millimeter Wave for Aerial Communication”. precoder used at the k-th subcarrier.

RF 1-bit

ADC

ADC

Chain

RF
Baseband

Precoding
Precoding

1-bit

DAC RF

ADC Chain RF 1-bit

User 1 Chain

ADC

ADC

Baseband RF

Combining Combining

.

.

1-bit

DAC

RF Access point .

ADC Chain

RF 1-bit

ADC

ADC

Chain

RF
Baseband

Precoding
Precoding

User U

RF 1-bit

Chain

ADC

ADC

Fig. 1: System model for the uplink of the proposed mmWave air-to-air communication system.

Let us introduce the D-delay channel model for the link where G(n)v

u [k] ∈ C

GR ×GT

is a sparse matrix containing

between the aerial BS and the u-th drone. The d-th delay the channel gains of the quantized spatial frequencies in its

(n)

tap channel matrix for the n-th channel slot and u-th user, non-zero elements. The dictionary matrices ÃR ∈ CNR ×GR ,

(n)

Hu,d ∈ CNR ×NT,u can be written as [5] (n)

ÃT,u ∈ CNT,u ×GT,u contain the array response vectors for the

r Lu BS and u-th drone evaluated on spatial grids of sizes GR and

(n) NR NT,u X (n) (n) GT,u .

Hu,d = αu,p prc (dTs − τu,l )×

Lu (1) The aerial BS is assumed to process the U different

l=1

(n) (n) (n) (n)

×aR (φu,l,azi , φu,l,ele )a∗T,u (θu,l,azi , θu,l,ele ), transmitted signals using a hybrid combiner W(n) [k] ∈

NR × U (n) (n) (n)

, W(n) [k] = WRF WBB [k], where WRF ∈

P

u=1 N s,u

C

(n) (n) (n)

where L is the number of channel paths, aR (φu,l,azi , φu,l,ele ) ∈ CNR ×L R

is the frequency-flat analog combiner, and WBB [k] ∈

(n) (n) LR × U

P

CNR ×1 , aT,u (θu,l,azi , θu,l,ele ) ∈ CNT,u ×1 are the array response C u=1 Ns,u is the frequency-selective based combiner at

vectors of the receive and transmit Uniform Planar Array the k-th subcarrier. Assuming perfect synchronization among

(UPA)s, prc (t) denotes the combined effects of pulse shaping the different drones at the BS, the received multi-user signal

(n) (n) (n) (n) (n)

and analog filtering and Ts , τu,l , αu,l , θu,l,azi , φu,l,azi , θu,l,ele , can be written as

(n)

φu,l,ele are the sampling period, the delay, the complex gain of U

(n)∗ (n)∗ (n) (n)

X

the l-th channel path, the azimut angles-of-departure (AoD), y(n) [k] = WBB [k]WRF Hu [k]FRF,u FBB,u [k]s(n)

u [k]+

the azimut angles-of-arrival (AoA), the elevation AoD, and the u=1

elevation AoA. In the frequency domain, the channel response + n(n) [k],

is (5)

D−1

2πkd

X (n)

H(n)

u [k] = Hu,d e−j K . (2)

d=0 where n(n) [k] ∈ CNR ×1 , n(n) [k] ∼

2 (n)∗ (n)∗ (n) (n)

An equivalent representation of the uplink (UL) channel is CN (0, σ WBB [k]WRF WRF WBB [k]) is the received

given by additive white Gaussian noise vector at the BS.

(n) (n) (n)∗

H(n)

u [k] = AR,u Gu [k]AT,u , (3)

(n) (n) III. C HANNEL ESTIMATION AND TRACKING WITH PRIOR

with the matrices AT,u ∈ CNT,u ×Lu and AR,u ∈ CNR ×L

INFORMATION

containing the steering vectors for the BS and the u-th drone

evaluated at the AoD and AoA, and the diagonal matrix

In this section, we propose a channel estimation and track-

G(n)

u [k] ∈ C

Lu ×Lu

containing the gains for each of the Lu

ing algorithm suitable for A2A communications. Our proposed

paths.

method exploits prior information on the trajectory of each

Using the extended virtual channel model [5], the channel

drone to reduce both overhead and computational complexity

matrix in (3) can be approximated as

with respect to baseline estimation without accounting for

(n) (n)∗

H(n) (n)v

u [k] ≈ ÃR Gu [k]ÃT,u , (4) prior information.

A. Problem formulation the vectorized multi-user frequency-selective mmWave MIMO

channel as

We consider that, during both estimation and tracking, the

BS and the U different drones undergo a training stage in U

(n) (n)C (n)

M

which each drone sends M training signal to the BS. Then, vec{HMU [k]} ≈ ÃT,u ⊗ ÃR,u g(n)v

u [k]

taking trajectory information into account, the BS estimates u=1

| {z }

the U K different channel matrices simultaneously. During the (n)

ΨMU

(m)

m-th training step, each drone uses a training precoder Ftr,u U h i h i

(m) (n)C (n)

M

and the BS uses a training combiner Wtr . The model for ÃT,u ◦ ÃR,u g(n)v

u [k] (n)

,

:,Iu Iu

the received multi-user training signal can be written similarly u=1

to (5) as (10)

U (n) (n)

(m,n)∗

X (m,n)

where Iu ∈ colspan(ΨMU ) is the support of the sparse

y(m,n) [k] = Wtr H(n) (m,n)

u [k]Ftr,u su [k]+n(m,n) [k], (n)v

channel vector gu [k] for the u-th UL channel. The matrix

M LR ×G2r

PU

u=1 (n) G2t,u

(6) ΨMU ∈ C u=1 is the multi-user dictionary.

(m,n) Therefore, the received signal in (9) can be written as

in which su [k] is the training pilot sent by the u-th drone.

We will assume, similarly to [7], that every vector of data (n) (n) (n)v

(m,n) (m,n) (m,n) y(n) [k] ≈ ΦMU ΨMU gMU [k] + n(n) [k], (11)

streams can be expressed as su [k] = qu s [k], with | {z }

(m,n) Ns ×1

qu ∈C a uder-dependent spatial modulation vector (n)

ΥMU

consisting of energy-normalized QPSK constellation symbols. 2 PU 2

(n)v

The scalar s(m,n) [k] is a frequency-dependent QPSK constel- where gMU [k] ∈ CGr u=1 Gt,u is the multi-user equiva-

lation symbol whose effect can be inverted at P the receiver lent sparsehchannel vector at the k-th isubcarrier, given by

(m,n) U T

without altering noise statistics. Let fMU ∈ C u=1 NT,u ×1 (n)v

gMU [k] = g(n)vT [k] . . . gU

(n)vT

[k] .

1

be the MU precoder given by To find the ML estimator, we split the MU wide-

(m,n)

h iT band channel estimation problem into two different prob-

fMU = q1(m,n)T F(m,n)T tr,1 . . . q

(m,n)T (m,n)T

U F tr,U

, lems, by resorting to (4). Let us define a vector y(n) ∈

PU (7) CM LR K×1 containing the received wideband signal as y(n) ,

(n) T

and HMU [k] ∈ CNR × u=1 NT,u be the MU frequency-selective

(n)T

y [0], . . . , y(n)T [K − 1] . Let us also define the MU

(n) (n) (n) SU (n)

channel given by HMU = [H1 [k], . . . , HU [k]]. Then, after channel support I (n) = u=1 Iu + G2r G2t,u . Let z(n) [k] ∈

applying vectorization in (6) and compensating for s(m,n) [k], CM LR ×1 be defined as

we can leverage the sparse structure of the mmWave channels h i h i

(n) (n)v

as z(n) [k] , y(n) [k] − ΥMU (n) gMU [k] (n) . (12)

:,I I

(m,n)T (m,n)∗ (n)

y(m,n) [k] = fMU ⊗ Wtr vec{HMU [k]}+ Then, the Log-Likelihood Function (LLF) of the received

(8)

+ n(m,n) [k]. wideband signal can be shown to fulfil [8]

K−1

After the transmission of M training frames, the received (n)

ln p(y(n) ; ΥMU , σ 2 , C(n)

X

z(n)∗ [k]C(n)−1 z(n) [k].

w )∝ w

signal in (8) can be extended to k=0

(13)

(1,n)T (1,n)∗

(1,n)

y [k]

f MU ⊗ W tr In [9], the optimum ML estimator of the frequency-selective

mmWave MIMO channel was derived for a single-user sce-

.. ..

= ×

.

. nario. In this work, we extend that result to the MU case. Let

(M,n) (M,n)T (M,n)∗

y [k] fMU ⊗ Wtr us define the Cholesky decomposition of the noise covariance

| {z } (n) (n) (n) (n)∗ (n)

y(n) [k]

| {z } (9) matrix Cw as Dw , Cw = Dw Dw . Then, the functional

(n)

ΦMU in (13) can be written as

n(1,n) [k]

K−1

.. X
(n)−∗ (n)
2

(n) (n)

× vec{HMU [k]} + . ln p(y(n) ; ΥMU , σ 2 , C(n)

w )∝ z [k]
. (14)

.
Dw

2

(M,n) k=0

n [k]

Similarly to [9], the ML estimator is found by solving a two-

There are several approaches to estimate the multi-user chan- step optimization problem. Let us assume for a moment that

(n)

nel matrix HMU [k]. In this work, we focus on the Maximum the support of the MU channel his known. i Then, the optimum

Likelihood (ML) Estimator assisted with prior information. We (n)v

estimator of the channel gains gMU [k] (n) is given by [8],

consider the Cramér-Rao Lower Bound (CRLB) accounting I

for prior information is out of the scope of this work, and will [10] h i

thus be devoted to a future manuscript. Let us approximate b(n)v

g MU [k]

(n)†

= ΥMU,w y(n)

w [k], (15)

I (n)

(n) 2 PU 2

where ΥMU,w ∈ CM LR ×Gr u=1 Gt,u is the post-whitened Regarding the azimut and elevation AoA, we can establish

(n) lower and upper bounds on these angles by exploiting channel

equivalent measurement matrix given by ΥMU,w ,

Dw

(n)−∗ (n) (n)

ΥMU . Likewise, yw [k] is the post-whitened re- reciprocity from time-division duplexing (TDD) paradigm.

(n) Using both these bounds and prior statistical knowledge on the

ceived signal at the k-th subcarrier, given by yw [k] ,

(n)−∗ (n) position information, we can accordingly generate dictionary

Dw y [k]. If we substitute (15) into (14), we can find

matrices for the azimut and elevation AoD and AoA. The

that the ML estimator for the MU channel support is given by

dictionary matrices for the azimut and elevation AoD will be

K−1 denoted as ÃT,azi,u and ÃT,ele,u , for the u-th drone. These

X
(n) (n) (n)
2

(n)

ÎML = arg max
PMU [I ]yw [k]
, (16) matrices contain the array steering vectors of each drone

I (n) 2

k=0 evaluated on quantized spatial grids of size Gt,u . The feasible

(n) azimut and elevation AoD angles for the u-th drone belong to

where PMU [I (n) ] ∈ CM LR ×M LR

isi the projection matrix

h

(n) the sets Aazi,u and Aele,u , which are defined as

onto the column space of ΥMU,w (n) . This matrix is

h i :,I h i† Gt,u −1 (n)max

θ̂u,azi

(n)min

− θ̂u,azi

(n) (n) (n) (n) [ (n)min

given by PMU [I ] = ΥMU,w (n) ΥMU,w (n) . The Aazi,u = θ̂u,azi + ` (22)

:,I :,I Gt,u

ML estimator in (16) exhibits the drawback that a matrix `=0

pseudoinverse needs to be computed for every combination of Gt,u −1 (n)max (n)min

[ (n)min θ̂u,ele − θ̂u,ele

the channel support, whose complexity grows exponentially Aele,u = θ̂u,ele + ` (23)

Gt,u

with U . To reduce computational complexity, we propose to `=0

exploit prior information on the trajectory of each drone. Conversely, the dictionary matrices for the azimut and el-

To do this, we construct a reduced dictionary matrix for (n)

evation AoA used by the aerial BS are denoted as ÃR,azi

each user u = 1, . . . , U , which will be henceforth referred (n)

(n) 2 2

to as Ψu ∈ CNT,u NR ×Gt,u Gr . Let us denote the estimate and ÃR,ele . The joint spherical dictionary

matrix for the u-th

(n) (n) (n)C (n)C

position vector for the u-th user as p̂Tx,u , and that of the user’s AoD is finally given by Ψu = ÃT,azi,u ⊗ ÃT,ele,u ⊗

(n)

aerial BS as p̂Rx . Then, the estimate relative position vec- (n) (n)

ÃR,azi ⊗ ÃR,ele .

(n) (n) (n)

tor of the u-th user is given by p̂rel,u = p̂Tx,u − p̂Rx ,

h iT

(n) (n) (n) (n) B. Spatially Consistent - Subcarrier Selection - Simultaneous

p̂rel,u = p̂rel,x,u , p̂rel,y,u , p̂rel,z,u , and it is assumed to have

a position error lying with a sphere of radius Du . This may Weighted - Iterative Projection Maximization

(n) (n) (n) (n)

be written as p̂rel,u = prel,u + eu , with eu ∈ R3 following In this section, we propose a novel algorithm for estimation

U(− D2u 1, D2u 1). Accordingly, we can find an upper and lower of MU frequency-selective mmWave MIMO channels based

bound for the azimut and elevation AoA and AoD for the on the channel tracking algorithm proposed in [11]. We assume

different UL channels. To do this, let us consider the lower that, in aerial environments, mmWave channels are near-Line-

and upper bounds of the actual relative position vector of-Sight (near-LoS), such that a single path is to be estimated.

(n)min (n) (n)max (n) Notice, however, that the optimum estimators in (15) and (16)

prel,x,u = prel,x,u − Du prel,x,u = prel,x,u + Du

are general and thus the proposed algorithm can be easily

(n)min (n) (n)max (n)

prel,y,u = prel,y,u − Du prel,y,u = prel,y,u + Du (17) extended to the multipath case. Owing to our dealing with

(n)min (n) (n)max (n) single-path channels, the optimum estimator of the support

prel,z,u = prel,z,u − Du prel,z,u = prel,z,u + Du .

in (16) can be simplified to a modified correlation function,

Let us also define the vectors containing the lower and similar to that of the Simultaneous Weighted - Orthogonal

upper bounds of h the estimate relative i position vector Matching Pursuit (SW-OMP) algorithm in [10]. The steps the

(n)min (n)min (n)min (n)min (n)max proposed algorithm follows are detailed in Algorithm 1.

as prel,u , prel,x,u , prel,y,u , prel,z,u , and prel,u ,

h i

(n)max (n)max (n)max

prel,x,u , prel,y,u , prel,z,u . Likewise, we can define lower and

IV. S IMULATION RESULTS

upper bounds on the azimut and elevation AoD by transform-

ing (17) into spherical coordinates as In this section, the main simulation results obtained with

(n)min the proposed algorithm are presented. We consider a system

(n)min p

θ̂u,ele = tan−1 rel,y,u

(n)min (18) with U drones equipped with NT,u = 16 (4 × 4) transmit

prel,x,u

(n)max antennas each and a BS equipped with NR = 256 (16 × 16)

(n)max prel,y,u antennas for illustration. The number of RF chains at each

θ̂u,ele = tan−1 (n)max (19)

prel,x,u drone is LT,u = 2, whereas the number of RF chains at

(
h (n)min i
)

(n)min
prel,u the BS is LR = 8. The phase-shifters are assumed to have

tan−1

1:2

θ̂u,azi = (n)min

2

(20) (m)

NQ = 2 quantization bits, so that the entries of Ftr , Wtr

(m)

prel,z,u

(
h i
) are drawn from {−1, 1, −j, j} with equal probability. The

(n)max

prel,u

(n)max −1 1:2

number of OFDM subcarriers is set to K = 64. We define the

θ̂u,azi = tan (n)max

2

. (21)

prel,z,u Normalized Mean-Squared Error (NMSE) of the MU channel

Algorithm 1 Spatially Consistent - Subcarrier Selection - estimated downlink (DL) channel. Thus, the BS is assumed

Simultaneous Weighted - Iterative Projection Maximization to feedsthe estimated channel back to the corresponding MS,

(SC-SS-SW-IPM) and MU interference is pre-cancelled out at the BS side using

1: SC-SS-SW-IPM(y(n) [k],ΦMU ,Ψu ,Kp )

(n) (n) the Minimum Mean Squared Error (MMSE) UL precoder.

2: Initialization Let us define the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) of

(n)

(n) (n) the estimated UL channel for the u-th user as Ĥu [k] =

3: Iu = {∅}, K(n) = {∅}, yw [k] =

(n)−∗ (n) (n) (n) (n)∗ (n) (n)

Dw y [k], ∀k Ûu [k]Σ̂u [k]V̂u [k], where Ûu [k] ∈ CNR ×Lu , Σ̂u [k] ∈

(n)

4: Find the Kp strongest subcarriers CLu ×Lu , V̂u [k] ∈ CNT,u ×Lu are the matrices containing the

5: while i ≤ Kp do estimate left singular vectors, singular values, and right sin-

6: K = K ∪ arg max ky(n) [k]k22 (n)

k6∈K gular vectors, respectively, of Ĥu [k]. The u-thPDL precoder

NR × U

7: i=i+1 used by the BS is denoted as F(n) u [k] ∈ C

u=1 Ns,u and

9: Distributed Correlation for u-th user

10: Φu = [ΦMU ]:,Pu−1 NT,u NR +` , U

X

11:

j=1

l = 1, . . . , NT,u NR . F(n)

u [k] = H(n)∗

u [k]W(n) (n)∗

u [k]Wu [k]H(n)

u [k]+

(n) (n)−∗ (n) (n) u=1 (27)

12: Au = D w Φu Ψu . −1

(n) (n)∗

cu [k] = k∈K Au r(n) [k].

P

+σ 2 INR H(n)∗ [k]Wu(n) [k],

13:

u

14: Find the maximum sum-projection

(n) P (n)

15: Îu = arg max k∈K |{cu [k]}p |

p whilst the u-th MS uses

h (n)a combiner W(n)

u [k] ∈ C

NT,u ×Ns,u

,

Estimate channel gains h and ichannel † matrices

i

16: (n)

given by Wu [k] = Ûu [k] .

:,1:Ns,u

h i

(n) (n)

17: ĝ(n)

u (n)

[k] = Au (n)

yw [k], ∀k

Îu :,Îu

(n)

h i

(n)

ĝ(n) B. Estimation error

18: Ĥu [k] = unvec{ Ψu (n) u [k]}, ∀k.

:,Îu

19: End For We show in Fig.2 the evolution of the average NMSE with

time, for N = 20 tracking slots, and SNR = {−10, −5, 0} dB.

(n) The number of training and tracking steps is set to M = 8

estimate Ĥ [k] as symbols. We can observe that, even with very low overhead

PK−1 PU (n) (n) 2

(8 OFDM symbols) and at the very low SNR regime, the

(n) u=1 kĤu [k] − Hu [k]kF

NMSE ĤMU [k] = k=0

PK−1 PU . proposed channel estimation and tracking algorithm achieves

(n) 2

k=0 u=1 kHu [k]kF very low values of estimation error.

(24)

The spectral efficiency in the MU scenario is defined as

U K−1 -7

1 XX

R= log2 det INs,u + X−1

u [k]×

K u=1

k=0

(25) -8

∗ ∗ ∗

×Wu [k]Hu [k]Fu [k]Fu [k]Hu [k]Wu [k] ,

-9 SNR = -10 dB

where Xu [k] ∈ CNT,u ×NT,u is the noise plus MU interference SNR = -5 dB

SNR = 0 dB

NMSE (dB)

X -10

i6=u (26) -11

2 ∗

+σ Wu [k]Wu [k].

Both the performance metrics in (24) and (25) are averaged -12

over NMC = 100 MonteCarlo realizations.

A. Precoder and combiner design -13

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

In this section, we provide some insight into precoder and Tracking slot (n)

that mmWave channels are sparse in the angular domain, we Fig. 2: Comparison of evolution of the NMSE versus number

propose to use the same strategy as in [7]. In [7], each MS of tracking slots N at different SNR for the proposed MU

transmits using a greedy strategy, consisting of setting its channel estimation and tracking algorithm.

combiner to the dominant Ns,u left singular vectors of the

C. Spectral efficiency S. Allsopp, “Designing and implementing future aerial communication

networks,” IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 26–34,

Finally, in Fig. 3, we show the evolution of the average May 2016.

spectral efficiency verus the tracking slot, and the same simu- [2] E. W. Frew and T. X. Brown, “Airborne communication networks for

lation parameters as those of Fig. 2. We observe that there is a small unmanned aircraft systems,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 96,

no. 12, pp. 2008–2027, Dec 2008.

very small gap (almost zero gap, in fact) between the spectral [3] C. Sterling, Military Communications: From Ancient Times to the 21st

efficiency obtained assuming perfect channel knowledge and Century. ABC-CLIO, 2008.

that obtained with channel estimates. Owing to our proposed [4] T. S. Rappaport, R. W. Heath Jr., R. C. Daniels, and J. Murdock,

Millimeter Wave Wireless Communications. Prentice-Hall, September

algorithm’s following the ML philosophy, we can obtain very 2014.

accurate estimates of the AoA, AoD, and the channel matrices [5] R. W. Heath, N. González-Prelcic, S. Rangan, W. Roh, and A. M.

themselves. This makes it possible to obtain and maintain near- Sayeed, “An Overview of Signal Processing Techniques for Millimeter

Wave MIMO Systems,” IEEE J. Sel.Topics Signal Process., vol. 10,

optimal values of spectral efficiency with reduced overhead no. 3, pp. 436–453, April 2016.

and computational complexity. Thereby, our proposed channel [6] A. Alkhateeb, G. Leus, and R. W. Heath Jr., “Limited feedback hybrid

estimation and tracking algorithm, as well as our precoding precoding for multi-user millimeter wave systems,” IEEE Transactions

on Wireless Communications, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 6481–6494, Nov. 2015.

and combining strategy, can be claimed to be suitable for MU [7] J. P. González-Coma, J. Rodrı́guez-Fernández, N. González-Prelcic,

A2A communications. L. Castedo, and R. W. Heath, “Channel estimation and hybrid precoding

for frequency selective multiuser mmWave MIMO systems,” submitted

to IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 2017.

[8] S. M. Kay, Fundamentals of Statistical Signal Processing, Volume I:

42

Estimation Theory. Prentice Hall PTR, 1993.

[9] J. Rodrı́guez-Fernández, N. González-Prelcic, and R. W. Heath, “A

Compressive Sensing-Maximum Likelihood Approach for Off-Grid

40 Wideband Channel Estimation at mmWave,” IEEE International Work-

Perfect CSI, SNR = 0 dB

Imperfect CSI, SNR = 0 dB shop on Computational Advances in Multi-Sensor Adaptive Processing,

Perfect CSI, SNR = -5 dB May 2017.

Spectral Efficiency (bps/Hz)

38

Perfect CSI, SNR = -10 dB

[10] J. Rodrı́guez-Fernández, N. González-Prelcic, K. Venugopal, and

Imperfect CSI, SNR = -10 dB R. W. H. Jr, “Frequency-domain Compressive Channel Estimation for

Frequency-Selective Hybrid mmWave MIMO Systems,” to appear in

36 IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 2018.

[11] J. Rodrı́guez-Fernández, N. González-Prelcic, and R. W. Heath,

“Frequency-domain Wideband Channel Estimation and Tracking for

34 Hybrid MIMO Systems,” submitted to 51th Asilomar Conference on

Signals, Systems and Computers, 2017.

32

30

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Tracking slot (n)

versus number of tracking slots N at different SNR for both

perfect CSI and channel estimates obtained with the proposed

SC-SS-SW-IPM algorithm.

V. C ONCLUSIONS

This papers deals with the problem of MU estimation and

tracking of mmWave frequency-selective MIMO channels with

prior information of the position of each user. We showed

that, even with both a reduced number of training symbols

and in the low SNR regime, our proposed channel estimation

algorithm achieves very low values of estimation error and

is able to maintain near-optimal values of spectral efficiency.

Further, we also showed that our proposed MU precoding

and combining strategy is able to successfully cancel MU

interference with UPAs, both under perfect CSI and with

channel estimates.

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