Ray-tracing-based mm-wave beamforming assessment
The use of large-size antenna arrays to implement pencil-beam forming techniques is becoming a key asset to cope with the very high throughput density requirements and high path-loss of future millimeter-wave (mm-wave) gigabit-wireless applications. Suboptimal beamforming (BF) strategies based on search over discrete set of beams (steering vectors) are proposed and implemented in present standards and applications. The potential of fully adaptive advanced BF strategies that will become possible in the future, thanks to the availability of accurate localization and powerful distributed computing, is evaluated in this paper through system simulation. After validation and calibration against mm-wave directional indoor channel measurements, a 3-D ray tracing model is used as a propagation-prediction engine to evaluate performance in a number of simple, reference cases. Ray tracing itself, however, is proposed and evaluated as a real-time prediction tool to assist future BF techniques.