09 January 2015
IMDEA Networks announces a Provisional US Patent Application called “Beam Steering for Highly Directional Wireless Communication on Multi-Frequency Band Enabled Systems Using Angle of Arrival Detection”. This is a joint patent between IMDEA Networks (inventors: Thomas Nitsche & Joerg Widmer) and Rice University, USA (inventors: Adriana B. Flores Miranda & Edward W. Knightly).
The invention is a novel wireless transceiver architecture, which combines interfaces to multiple frequency bands to improve the beam alignment process for a directional interface. Systems with directional medium usage (e.g. next generation IEEE 802.11ad WiFi) focus the signal energy in direction of the receiver to overcome adverse propagation behavior. The necessary alignment process can be very complex and time consuming, as all potential directions need to be probed.
The invented architecture exploits different propagation characteristics on the frequency bands accessed by the device. On lower frequencies (e.g. legacy WiFi) omni-direction communication allows highly efficient direction estimation algorithms. By transferring the hereby obtained direction information to a directional interface, the alignment process can be significantly improved.
The invention further introduces mechanisms to prevent erroneous direction transfer. This can result from diverse propagation characteristics (multi-path propagation) on the omni-directional frequency band or direct path blockage on the directional band. The invention accommodates detection of both adverse effects with the direction finding process, without need for further communication overhead.