Massive MIMO: turning concept into reality by exploiting the channel reciprocity

Jiang, Xiwen

Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is considered as one of the key technologies that will enable the next generation of wireless communications. In order to perform downlink (DL) beamforming algorithms with large antenna arrays, the biggest challenge is the acquisition of accurate channel state information at the transmitter (CSIT). To take up this challenge, time division duplex (TDD) is favorable to massive MIMO systems thanks to its channel reciprocity in DL and uplink (UL). However, while the physical channel in the air is reciprocal, the radio-frequency (RF) front-ends in transceivers are not; therefore, calibration should be used in practical systems to compensate the RF hardware asymmetry.

In this thesis, we focus on turning massive MIMO concept into reality based on TDD reciprocity calibration. The contributions can be summarized as follows. First, we propose a unified framework for reciprocity calibration, which generalizes various calibration methods existing in literature, providing a higher level view on the calibration problem as well as opening up possibilities of numerous innovations on calibration methods. Second, based on this general representation, we propose three new calibration schemes: a fast calibration method based on antenna grouping, a calibration scheme for hybrid beamforming architecture, as well as a calibration parameter tracking and system health monitoring mechanism which allows fast detection of parameter change. Third, we carried out measurements of calibration parameters on a real platform in order to reveal the hardware properties. Fourth, we study, from a system point of view, how accurately a TDD massive MIMO system should be calibrated. Last but not least, enabled by TDD reciprocity calibration, we build up an open source long term evolution (LTE) compatible massive MIMO testbed based on the OpenAirInterface platform, which can directly provide Internet service to a commercial device. The testbed demonstrates the feasibility of integrating massive MIMO into current 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards and its usage in 5G can be a smooth evolution from current 4G systems.

Communication systems
Eurecom Ref:
UCA - Université Côte d'Azur
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