Converged Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface and Mobile Edge Computing for Space Information Networks

Xuelin Cao, Bo Yang, Chongwen Huang, Chau Yuen, Yan Zhang, Dusit Niyato, Zhu Han

Space information networks (SIN) are facing an ever-increasing thirst for high-speed and high-capacity seamless data transmission due to the integration of ground, air, and space communications. However, this imposes a new paradigm on the architecture design of the integrated SIN. Recently, reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) and mobile edge computing (MEC) are the most promising techniques, conceived to improve communication and computation capability by reconfiguring the wireless propagation environment and offloading. Hence, converging RISs and MEC in SIN is becoming an effort to reap the double benefits of computation and communication. In this article, we propose an RIS-assisted collaborative MEC architecture for SIN and discuss its implementation. Then we present its potential benefits, major challenges, and feasible applications. Subsequently, we study different cases to evaluate the system data rate and latency. Finally, we conclude with a list of open issues in this research area.

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