Tracking mm-Wave Channel Dynamics: Fast Beam Training Strategies under Mobility
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In order to cope with the severe path loss, millimeter-wave (mm-wave) systems exploit highly directional communication. As a consequence, even a slight beam misalignment between two communicating devices (for example, due to mobility) can generate a significant signal drop. This leads to frequent invocations of time-consuming mechanisms for beam re-alignment, which deteriorate system performance. In this paper, we propose smart beam training and tracking strategies for fast mm-wave link establishment and maintenance under node mobility. We leverage the ability of hybrid analog-digital transceivers to collect channel information from multiple spatial directions simultaneously and formulate a probabilistic optimization problem to model the temporal evolution of the mm-wave channel under mobility. In addition, we present for the first time a beam tracking algorithm that extracts information needed to update the steering directions directly from data packets, without the need for spatial scanning during the ongoing data transmission. Simulation results, obtained by a custom simulator based on ray tracing, demonstrate the ability of our beam training/tracking strategies to keep the communication rate only 10% below the optimal bound. Compared to the state of the art, our approach provides a 40% to 150% rate increase, yet requires lower complexity hardware.