PhD Thesis defense: Enhancing Wireless local area Networks by leveraging Diverse Frequency Resources

25 Sep

Thomas Nitsche, PhD Student, IMDEA Networks Institute & University Carlos III of Madrid

PhD Defense

In this thesis, signal propagation variations that are experience over the frequency resources of IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) are studied. It is found that exploitation of these variations can improve several aspects of wireless communication systems. To this aim, frequency varying behavior is addressed at two different levels.

First, the intra-channel scale is considered, i.e. variations over the continuous frequency block that a device uses for a cohesive transmission. Variations at this level are well known but cur- rent wireless systems restrict to basic equalization techniques to balance the received signal. In contrast, this work shows that more fine grained adaptation to these differences can accomplish throughput and connection range gains.

Second, multi-frequency band enabled devices that access widely differing frequency re- sources in the millimeter wave range as well as in the microwave range are analyzed. These devices that are expected to follow the IEEE 802.11ad specification experience intense propagation variations over their frequency resources. Thus, a part of this thesis revises, the theoretical specification of the IEEE 802.11ad standard and complements it by a measurement study of first generation millimeter wave devices. This study reveals deficiencies of first generation millimeter wave systems, whose improvement will pose new challenges to the protocol design of future generation systems. These challenges are than addressed by novel methods that leverage from frequency varying propagation characteristics.

The first method, improves the beam training process of millimeter wave networks that need highly directional, though electronically steered, transmissions to overcome increased free space attenuation. By leveraging from omni-directional signal propagation at the microwave bands, efficient direction interference is utilized to provide information to millimeter wave interfaces and replace brute force direction testing. Second, deafness effects at the millimeter wave band, which impact IEEE 802.11 channel access methods are addressed. As directional communication on these bands complicates sensing the medium to be busy or idle, inefficiencies and unfairness are implied. By using coordination message exchange on the legacy Wi-Fi frequencies with omni- directional communication properties, these effects are countered. The millimeter wave bands can thus unfold their full potential, being exclusively used for high speed data frame transmission.


Wireless Networking, Millimeter Wave Communication, MAC Layer Design, Beam Steering, Software Defined Radio, Radiowave Propagation, Wireless PHY-layer, Cross-layer Protocols

About Thomas Nitsche

Thomas Nitsche graduated from Technische Universitaet Muenchen in 2009 with a Diploma degree in Computer Siences. He worked at Nokia Siemens Networks and was research staff member at the Chair for Network Architectures and Services at Technische Universitaet Muenchen until he joined IMDEA Networks in 2012.

His research interests are Wireless Networking; Software Defined Radio; Radiowave Propagation; Wireless PHY-layer; Cross-layer Protocols.

Personal site at IMDEA Networks

The thesis defense will be conducted in English


More info

  • Location: Aula de Grados Padre Soler, Sala 5.1.A01, Edificio Padre Soler "Auditorio", UC3M, Avda. Universidad, 30, 28911 Leganés – Madrid

  • Time: 03:00 pm