Steering with Eyes Closed: mm-Wave Beam Steering without In-Band Measurement
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Millimeter-wave communication achieves multi-Gb/sec data rates via highly directional beamforming to overcome pathloss and provide the desired SNR. Unfortunately, establishing communication with sufficiently narrow beamwidth to obtain the necessary link budget is a high overhead procedure in which the search space scales with device mobility and the product of the sender-receiver beam resolution. In this paper, we design, implement, and experimentally evaluate Blind Beam Steering (BBS) a novel architecture and algorithm that removes in-band overhead for directional mm-Wave link establishment. Our system architecture couples mm-Wave and legacy 2.4/5 GHz bands using out-of-band direction inference to establish (overhead-free) multi Gb/sec mm-Wave communication. Further, BBS evaluates direction estimates retrieved from passively overheard 2.4/5 GHz frames to assure highest mm-Wave link quality on unobstructed direct paths. By removing in-band overhead, we leverage mm-Wave's very high throughput capabilities, beam-width scalability and provide robustness to mobility. We demonstrate that BBS achieves 97.8% accuracy estimating direction between pairing nodes using at least 5 detection band antennas. Further, \sys successfully detects unobstructed direct path conditions with a rate of 96.5\% and reduces the IEEE 802.11ad beamforming training overhead by 81%.