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Real-Time mmWave Channel Sounding Through Switched Beamforming With 3-D Dual-Polarized Phased-Array Antennas



Derek Caudill, Jack Chuang, Sung Yun Jun, Camillo Gentile, Nada T. Golmie


We propose a 28.5-GHz channel sounder that switches through all antennas of multiple dual-polarized 8×8 phased arrays at the transmitter and receiver and performs beamforming in postprocessing through digital weights to synthesize a sweepable beam. To our knowledge, we are the first to implement—what we refer to as— switched beamforming with phased arrays for millimeter-wave channel sounding, realized through highly stable Rubidium clocks and local oscillators coupled with precision over-the-air calibration techniques developed in house. By circumventing the time-consuming programming of analog weights that is associated with analog beamforming—what phased arrays are designed for—we can sweep a 3-D double-omnidirectional dual-polarized channel in just 1.3 ms, for real-time sounding. By in turn circumventing the coarse precision of analog weights, we can synthesize ideal beam patterns thanks to the effectively infinite precision of digital weights, enabling fine weight calibration for the nonidealities of the system hardware and fine weight tapering for sidelobe suppression. This translates to average estimation errors of 0.47° in 3-D double-directional angle, 0.48 dB in co-polarized path gain, and 0.18 ns in delay, as substantiated by field measurements.
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques


5G, propagation, mmWave, 29.5 GHz, channel sounder, calibration


Caudill, D. , Chuang, J. , Jun, S. , Gentile, C. and Golmie, N. (2021), Real-Time mmWave Channel Sounding Through Switched Beamforming With 3-D Dual-Polarized Phased-Array Antennas, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, [online],, (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created September 7, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022