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Switched-Array Channel Sounders

NIST developed three switched-array channel sounders at mmWave frequencies that can precisely measure radio propagation channel characteristics such as path loss, small-scale fading, delay dispersion, absolute delay, angle-of-arrival, and Doppler power spectrum. On the receiver side, every system is equipped with a custom-designed scalar-feed-horn antenna array with 16 elements featuring an omnidirectional azimuthal field-of-view and enabling 3D angle-of-arrival extraction. The channel sounders at 28.5 and 83.5 GHz have a single omni-directional antenna on the transmitter side, while the 60.5 GHz channel sounder has an antenna array on the transmitter side as well, adding capabilities of 3D angle-of-departure extraction.


The figure shows typical measurement configuration that simulates a hotspot in which the transmitter was fixed at 2.5 m (simulates access point) and the receiver was placed on top of the robotic positioning system at 1.6m (simulates person) enabling data acquisition in untethered, mobile mode.


The system architecture of our switched-array channel sounders and calibration techniques can be found in the references below:

[1] R. Sun, P.B. Papazian, J. Senic, Y. Lo, J.-K. Choi, K.A. Remley, C. Gentile, “Design and Calibration of a Double-directional 60 GHz Channel Sounder for Multipath Component Tracking,” IEEE European Conf. on Antennas and Propagation, 2017. (BEST PAPER AWARD in measurements)

[2] P. B. Papazian, C. Gentile, K.A. Remley, J. Senic, and N. Golmie, “A Radio Channel Sounder for Mobile Millimeter-Wave Communications: System Implementation and Measurement Assessment,” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 64, no. 9., pp. 2924-2932, Sept. 2016.

[3] P. B. Papazian, J.-K. Choi, J. Senic, P. Jeavons, C. Gentile, N. Golmie, R. Sun, D. Novotny, K.A. Remley, “Calibration of Millimeter-wave Channel Sounders for Super-resolution Multipath Component Extraction,” IEEE European Conf. on Antennas and Propagation, April 2016.


Radio Access and Propagation Metrology Group

Created September 27, 2021, Updated September 29, 2021