One of the biggest challenges in operating massive multiple-input multiple-output systems is the acquisition of accurate channel state information at the transmitter. To take up this challenge, time division duplex is more favorable thanks to its channel reciprocity between downlink and uplink. However, while the propagation channel over the air is reciprocal, the radio-frequency front-ends in the transceivers are not. Therefore, calibration is required to compensate the RF hardware asymmetry. Although various over-the-air calibration methods exist to address the above problem, this paper offers a unified representation of these algorithms, providing a higher level view on the calibration problem, and introduces innovations on calibration methods. We present a novel family of calibration methods, based on antenna grouping, which improve accuracy and speed up the calibration process compared to existing methods. We then provide the Cramer-Rao bound as the performance evaluation ´ benchmark and compare maximum likelihood and least squares estimators. We also differentiate between coherent and noncoherent accumulation of calibration measurements, and point out that enabling non-coherent accumulation allows the training to be spread in time, minimizing impact to the data service. Overall, these results have special value in allowing to design reciprocity calibration techniques that are both accurate and resource-effective.
A framework for over-the-air reciprocity calibration for TDD massive MIMO systems
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications,Vol.17, N°9, September 2018
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