A Flexible Wideband Millimeter-Wave Channel Sounder with Local Area and NLOS to LOS Transition Measurements

George R. MacCartney, Hangsong Yan, Shu Sun, Theodore S. Rappaport

This paper presents a millimeter-wave (mmWave) wideband sliding correlator channel sounder with flexibility to operate at various transmission rates. The channel sounder can transmit and receive up to 1 GHz of RF null-to-null bandwidth while measuring a 2 nanosecond multipath time resolution. The system architecture takes advantage of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), high-speed digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and low phase noise Rubidium (Rb) references for synchronization. Using steerable narrowbeam antennas, the system can measure up to 185 dB of path loss. The channel sounder is used to measure the directional and omnidirectional received power as a receiver transitions from line-of-sight to non-line-of-sight conditions down an urban canyon. A 25 dB drop in omnidirectional received power was observed as the receiver transitioned from line-of-sight (LOS) conditions to deeply shadowed non-LOS (NLOS) conditions. The channel sounder was also used to study signal variation and spatial consistency for a local set of receiver locations arranged in a cluster spanning a 5 m x 10 m local area, where the omnidirectional received power in LOS and NLOS environments is found to be relatively stable with standard deviations of received power of 2.2 dB and 4.3 dB, respectively. This work shows that when implementing beamforming at the transmitter at mmWave, the omnidirectional received power over a local area has little fluctuation among receiver locations separated by a few to several meters.

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