Wireless Communications in Reverberant Environments
DREXEL UNIV PHILADELPHIA PA PHILADELPHIA United States
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Implementation of WLANs in reverberant environments, such as industrial facilities, naval vessels, aircraft, and spacecraft, has proven challenging, because rich electromagnetic scattering can degrade link quality through multipath interference. As a result, the adoption of Wireless LANs in these environments has been slow. Previous studies concerning reverberant environments have focused on characterizing electromagnetic properties for the purpose of electromagnetic compatibility testing. Little attention has been given to the performance of wireless communications. In this effort, the effect of electromagnetic reverberance on wireless communications is investigated in order to assess the feasibility of WLAN deployment. Work centered around two experimental measurement campaigns. The first campaign was performed in coupled reverberation chambers. The reverberation chambers provided a controllable environment which was configured to emulate the reverberance of below-deck spaces on a naval vessel. The process for quantifying and configuring the electromagnetic properties of a reverberation chamber is presented. The second campaign was performed on a naval vessel. Experimentation was conducted in a variety of locations on the ship. Locations were selected to represent a wide range of practical environments. Across both campaigns, several environment and node parameters were evaluated level of reverberance, cavity coupling active aperture size, and LOS versus NLOS links. Additionally, advanced physical layer schemes and reconfigurable antennas are presented as methods to improve performance and mitigate multipath interference. To perform this work, a measurement platform and testing protocol were developed for systematic characterization of wireless communications in reverberant environments. The primary contributions of this work are empirical characterization of wireless communications in reverberant environments.