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Uncoordinated MAC for Adaptive Multi-Beam Directional Networks: Analysis and Evaluation

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Technical Report

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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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In this work, we analyze the capacity of airborne networks where each node is equipped with digital multi-beamforming antennas. With this technology, a node can form multiple simultaneous transmit or receive beams per aperture under the constraint that no aperture can simultaneously transmit and receive. Given the potentially large distances between aircraft, propagation delays are significant relative to transmission times, hence traditional CSMA approaches are not appropriate. We first present our model of these multi-beamforming capabilities and the resulting wireless interference. We then derive an upper bound on multi-access performance for an idealized version of this physical layer. We then present a new Distributed MAC for Multi-beam Systems DM2S scheme and show that this random access protocol achieves the performance upper bound, albeit at the cost of added delay. We also consider the impact of numerous practical considerations including stochastic arrivals, latency, and power constraints on the performance of our random access MAC protocol. Finally, we present a system implementation and evaluation approach that demonstrates the feasibility of the physical layer technology as well as the DM2S scheme.

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  • Radio Communications

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