SpaceBeam: LiDAR-Driven One-Shot mmWave Beam Management

Publication Date: 6/24/2021

Event: 19th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys 2021)

Reference: pp. 389-401, 2021

Authors: Tim Woodford, NEC Laboratories America, Inc., University of California, San Diego; Xinyu Zhang, University of California, San Diego; Eugene Chai, NEC Laboratories America, Inc.; Karthikeyan Sundaresan, NEC Laboratories America, Inc.; Mohammad A. Khojastepour, NEC Laboratories America, Inc.

Abstract: mmWave 5G networks promise to enable a new generation of networked applications requiring a combination of high throughput and ultra-low latency. However, in practice, mmWave performance scales poorly for large numbers of users due to the significant overhead required to manage the highly-directional beams. We find that we can substantially reduce or eliminate this overhead by using out-of-band infrared measurements of the surrounding environment generated by a LiDAR sensor. To accomplish this, we develop a ray-tracing system that is robust to noise and other artifacts from the infrared sensor, create a method to estimate the reflection strength from sensor data, and finally apply this information to the multiuser beam selection process. We demonstrate that this approach reduces beam-selection overhead by over 95% in indoor multi-user scenarios, reducing network latency by over 80% and increasing throughput by over 2× in mobile scenarios.

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