Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) spatial multiplexing and beamforming are regarded as key technology enablers for the fifth-generation (5G) millimeter wave (mmWave) mobile radio services. Spatial multiplexing requires sufficiently separated and incoherent antenna array elements, while in the case of beamforming, the antenna array elements need to be coherent and closely spaced. Extensive 28-, 60-, and 73-GHz ultra-wideband propagation measurements in cities of New York City and Austin have indicated formation of two or more spatial lobes for the angles-of-departure and angles-of-arrival even for line-of-sight (LOS) transmission, which is an advantageous feature of mmWave channels, indicating that the transmitting and receiving array antenna elements can be co-located, thus enabling a single architecture for both spatial multiplexing and beamforming. In this paper, a two-level beamforming architecture for uniform linear arrays is proposed that leverages the formation of these spatial lobes. The antenna array is composed of sub-arrays, and the impact of sub-array spacing on the spectral efficiency is investigated through simulations using a channel simulator named NYUSIM developed based on extensive measured data at mmWave frequencies. Simulation results indicate spectral efficiencies of 18.5-28.1 bits/s/Hz with a sub-array spacing of 16 wavelengths for an outdoor mmWave urban LOS channel. The spectral efficiencies obtained are for single-user (SU) MIMO transmission at the recently allocated 5G carrier frequencies in July 2016. The method and results in this paper are useful for designing antenna array architectures for 5G wireless systems.
- spatial multiplexing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Automotive Engineering