Congratulations to electrical and computer engineering faculty members Edward Knightly and Aydin Babakhani, on their receipt of an $0.8M grant from the National Science Foundation to research how to scale WLAN throughput and range.
The researchers will work on a system that will speed throughput (the speed over amount of information that can be transmitted wirelessly). They propose to scale WLAN capacity to terabit/second by exploiting the high-frequency Line-Of-Sight (LOS) environment having minimal scattering and reflection to create an effective wide-aperture transmitter through widely spaced transmitting elements. The architecture comprises a set of transmitting antenna elements that are widely-spaced and tightly synchronized to sub-picosecond scale.
To speed throughput to terabit/second, the challenges are physical. Higher wavelengths are required to achieve terabit/second throughput, rendering those wavelengths unable to pass through obstacles like doors and walls. The team plans to overcome this limit on range by designing a system that fuses the higher spectrum bands (60GHz and above) with lower-frequency legacy bands, to increase the amount of rich, multi-path channels at high frequency.
Successful completion of the work will show that the design, based on wide-aperture transmitters, enables high frequency bands