Cooperative Beamforming for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks

Lun Dong, Athina P. Petropulu, H. Vincent Poor

Via collaborative beamforming, nodes in a wireless network are able to transmit a common message over long distances in an energy efficient fashion. However, the process of making available the same message to all collaborating nodes introduces delays. In this paper, a MAC-PHY cross-layer scheme is proposed that enables collaborative beamforming at significantly reduced collaboration overhead. It consists of two phases. In the first phase, nodes transmit locally in a random access time-slotted fashion. Simultaneous transmissions from multiple source nodes are viewed as linear mixtures of all transmitted packets. In the second phase, a set of collaborating nodes, acting as a distributed antenna system, beamform the received analog waveform to one or more faraway destinations. This step requires multiplication of the received analog waveform by a complex weight, which is independently computed by each cooperating node, and which allows packets bound to the same destination to add coherently at the destination node. Assuming that each node has access to location information, the proposed scheme can achieve high throughput, which in certain cases exceeds one. An analysis of the symbol error probability corresponding to the proposed scheme is provided.

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