Antennas for channel sounding

At the beginning of the projet

[1] S. Rappaport, G. R. MacCartney, M. K. Samimi and S. Sun, “Wideband Millimeter-Wave Propagation

Figure 1: 73.5GHz channel sounder [1]

Measurements and Channel Models for Future Wireless Communication System Design,” in IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 63, no. 9, pp. 3029-3056, Sept. 2015.

  • Millimeterwave channel sounding
  • Fixed beam
  • 2D mechanical rotating scan


[2] Papazian, Peter B. et al. “Radio channel sounders for modeling mobile communications at 28 GHz, 60 GHz and 83 GHz.” Global Symposium on Millimeter-Waves (GSMM), 2015.

  • The Communications Technology Laboratory of the NIST (National Institut of standard and Technology has designed a 60GHz channel sounder with fixed beams in 2015 (Figure 2).

Figure 2: 60 GHz NIST sounder (2015) [2]

From 2015

To our knowledge, it doesn’t exist a quasi 3D channel sounding based on a digital and/or analog beamforming technich. Only mechanical scanning is used at 60GHz and analog beam scanning at 28GHz. The main interest of digital beamforming is the capacity to detect simultaneously the directions of arrival that is very important in scenario with mobility. That is impossible with mechanical scanning or single beam scanning

[3] Gentile et al., “Millimeter-Wave Channel Measurement and Modeling: A NIST Perspective,” in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 56, no. 12, pp. 30-37, December 2018.

To improve the angular accuracy, this system is installed on a 2D positioner. But the sweep channel is very low (40 minutes) and so only static environments can be characterized.

Then the NIST designed a new millimeterwave sounder based on 4 phased array antenna and published it in December 2018. [3]

The use of phased array antenna allows reducing measurement sweep time. This system is limited to a 2D scan (azimuth plane). To our knowledge, THE NIST channel sounder in millimeterwave band is the more advanced.

Figure 3: 60_GHz Phased Array Channel Sounder [3]

[4] P. Liu, J. Blumenstein, N. S. Perović, M. Di Renzo and A. Springer, “Performance of Generalized Spatial

Figure 4: 60GHz channel sounder with a virtual array antenna [4]

Modulation MIMO Over Measured 60GHz Indoor Channels,” in IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 133-148, Jan. 2018

  • 60GHz channel sounder based on ULA virtual array antenna based on a translation of one antenna
  • No simultaneous measurement of the array antenna
  • Small scanning zone



Figure 5 : 60GHz quasi 3D channel sounder [5]

[5] W. Xia, M. Polese, M. Mezzavilla, G. Loianno, S. Rangan and M. Zorzi, “Millimeter Wave Remote UAV Control and Communications for Public Safety Scenarios,” 2019 16th Annual IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking (SECON), Boston, MA, USA, 2019, pp. 1-7

  • Quasi 3D full mechanical system
  • Only one direction scanned at a time
  • Slow beamsteering (mechanical movement)
  • Cables constraints


[6] Kursu et al. “Design and measurement of a 5G mmW mobile backhaul transceiver at 28 GHz” EURASIP Journal onWireless Communications and Networking (2018)

    • Analog single beam scanning at 28GHz

      Figure 5 : 28GHz channel sounder with electronic beamsteering [6]

    • Only one direction scanned at a time
    • Fast beamsteerring (phase shifter, no mechanical movement)

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