- Radio Signal Propogation and Processing
- Radio Network Management and Systems Innovations
Using Cognitive Antennas for interference management in femtocell
Interference management and increasing throughput are closely related issues in wireless networks. Research today is focused on pushing the envelope of networks to attain higher and higher throughput to which interference management techniques play a key role. Various technologies have been proposed in the recent past to meet the ever increasing data demand. Femtocells is one such technology which has shown a lot of promise in terms of both capacity and throughput increase by employing small base stations in indoor environments. However as the use of femtocells increases, interference from macro base stations and nearby femtocells quickly becomes a limiting factor. This interference is a cause of nuisance not only to the primary users of the femtocell, but even for the users being served by the macro base station as unnecessary hand-off takes place in there vicinity. Use of directional antennas is one possible solution to this problem. We propose to integrate metamaterial based pattern reconfigurable antennas on both the femto base station and on the mobile device (client) side. These antennas offer the distinct advantage of being able to respond to changing environmental conditions by adapting their radiation patters. Besides providing various modes of operations, they can be made highly directive, thereby helping to channelize the energy towards the client. Being metamaterial based these antennas are physically small in size and low in cost, making them ideal for deployment in femtocells and mobile devices. Moreover, the antennas developed by us can make a single physical element behave as two different antennas, making it ideal for MIMO deployment. To make optimum use of these antennas, a protocol stack integrating higher layers with the degree of freedom available at the antennas will be developed. Antenna mode selection, directional medium access control (MAC) will also be integrated with the solutions to attain optimal performance all the time. Such an integrated solution has huge commercial applications as it makes a significant step forward towards making the large scale deployment of femtocells a reality.
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We are part of Drexel University's Wireless Systems Laboratory working at the cross section of reconfigurable antenna design, adaptive communication and MIMO systems. We have extensive experience in developing reconfigurable antenna technology for MIMO systems and have successfully commercialized the technology for WLAN systems.