High-Speed Millimeter-Wave Mobile Experimentation on Software-Defined Radios
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Millimeter-wave (mm-wave) communications have become an integral part of WLAN standards and 5G mobile networks and, as application data rate requirements increase, more and more traffic will move to these very high frequency bands. While for sub-6 GHz research there is an ample choice of powerful experimental platforms, building mm-wave systems is much more difficult due to the very high hardware requirements. To address the lack of suitable experimentation platforms, we propose mm-FLEX, a flexible and modular open platform with real-time signal processing capabilities that supports a bandwidth of 2 GHz and is compatible with current mm-wave standards. The platform is built around a fast FPGA processor and a 60 GHz phased antenna array front-end that can be reconfigured at nanosecond timescales. Together with its ease of use, this turns the platform into a unique tool for research on beam training in highly mobile scenarios and full-bandwidth mm-wave signal processing.