Performance Impact Analysis of Beam Switching in Millimeter Wave Vehicular Communications

Ojas Kanhere, Aditya Chopra, Andrew Thornburg, Theodore S. Rappaport, Saeed S. Ghassemzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Millimeter wave wireless spectrum deployments will allow vehicular communications to share high data rate vehicular sensor data in real-time. The highly directional nature of wireless links in millimeter spectral bands will require continuous channel measurements to ensure the transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) beams are aligned to provide the best channel. Using real-world vehicular mmWave measurement data at 28 GHz, we determine the optimal beam sweeping period, i.e. the frequency of the channel measurements, to align the RX beams to the best channel directions for maximizing the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) throughput. We show that in a realistic vehicular traffic environment in Austin, TX, for a vehicle traveling at an average speed of 10.5 mph, a beam sweeping period of 300 ms in future V2I communication standards would maximize the V2I throughput, using a system of four RX phased arrays that scanned the channel 360 degrees in the azimuth and 30 degrees above and below the boresight. We also investigate the impact of the number of active RX chains controlling the steerable phased arrays on V2I throughput. Reducing the number of RX chains controlling the phased arrays helps reduce the cost of the vehicular mmWave hardware while multiple RX chains, although more expensive, provide more robustness to beam direction changes at the vehicle, allowing near maximum throughput over a wide range of beam sweep periods. We show that the overhead of utilizing one RX chain instead of four leads to a 10% drop in mean V2I throughput over six non-line-of-sight runs in real traffic conditions, with each run being 10 to 20 seconds long over a distance of 40 to 90 meters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 93rd Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC 2021-Spring - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728189642
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Event93rd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC 2021-Spring - Virtual, Online
Duration: Apr 25 2021Apr 28 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE Vehicular Technology Conference
ISSN (Print)1550-2252


Conference93rd IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, VTC 2021-Spring
CityVirtual, Online


  • 5G
  • V2V
  • V2X
  • beam management
  • channel sounding
  • mmWave
  • phased arrays
  • sidelink

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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