Zero Overhead Device Tracking in 60 GHz Wireless Networks using Multi-Lobe Beam Patterns
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Millimeter-wave devices must use highly directional antennas to achieve GBit/s data rates over reasonable distances due to the high path loss. As a consequence, it is important to precisely align the antenna beams between sender and receiver. Even minor movement or rotation of a device can result in beam misalignment and thus a strong performance degradation. Existing work as well as standards such as IEEE 802.11ad tackle this issue by means of antenna sector probing. This comes at the expense of a significant overhead, which may significantly reduce the performance of millimeter-wave communication, particularly in mobile scenarios. In this paper, we present a mechanism that can track both movement and rotation of 60 GHz mobile devices with zero overhead. To this end, we transmit part of the preamble of each packet using a multi-lobe beampattern. Our approach does not require any additional control messages and is backward compatible with 802.11ad. We implement our scheme on a 60 GHz testbed using phased antenna arrays, and show that we reduce the angle error to less than 5◦ in most cases. We also perform simulations to validate our approach in a wide range of scenarios, achieving up to 2× throughput gain.