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www.ll.mit.

edu September 2008

Tech Notes
Multiple-Antenna Lincoln Laboratory is investigating techniques [1], multipath need not be
multiple-input multiple-output a hindrance and can be exploited to
Techniques (MIMO) techniques to improve the
robustness and performance of wireless
increase potential data rates and simul-
taneously improve the robustness of
for Wireless links. Here, the term multiple-input the links (Figure 1).
multiple-output refers to the use of an Increased military and commercial
Communications array of antennas for both transmitting dependence on wireless communica-
and receiving. MIMO approaches show tion has intensified the need for more
promise of enabling better wireless robust links. For example, the lack of
Multiple-antenna technol- communications because they mitigate adequately robust, reliable links has
problems inherent in ground-to-ground limited the usefulness of remotely
ogy is a rich area of research. links, which are the most common links controlled robots in military environ-
Whether for future military used by wireless devices, including cell ments. More is also being asked of the
wireless networks, soldier phones and WiFi. links in terms of flexibility of use and
Typically, ground-to-ground links higher data rates. Furthermore, ad hoc
radios, autonomous sensors, are not line of sight. The electromag- wireless networks, which are inevitably
or robotics, the demand for netic waves transmitted from the anten- becoming integrated into military and
nas bounce around the environment commercial applications, require more
improved performance may in a complicated fashion and end up robust, flexible, and higher-data-rate
be met with multiple-antenna at the receiver coming from multiple links.
communication links and the directions and with varying delays. The Lincoln Laboratory is pushing the
effect produced by the direction/delay limits of MIMO technology, developing
advanced technology making interactions is referred to as multipath, record-setting space-time codes. Space-
those links effective. a condition that must be accommo- time codes describe what is transmit-
dated by ground-to-ground systems. ted by the array of transmitters in a
With the use of MIMO communication MIMO communication link [2]. These

Technical Point of Contact


Dr. Daniel W. Bliss

Advanced Sensor Techniques Group
bliss@ll.mit.edu
Figure 1. Multiple-input multiple-output
781-981-3300
communications links enable accurate
data to be received despite a complicated
For further information, contact: multipath environment with jamming.
Communications Office
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
244 Wood Street
Lexington, MA 02420-9108
781-981-4204
codes employ advanced coding con-
cepts along with sophisticated iterative
receivers. The Laboratory-developed
codes, which are allowing the largest
data rates for a given transmit power,
have been demonstrated theoretically
and experimentally.
Advanced Receiver Techniques
The Laboratory has also developed Figure 2. A full-duplex relay employing self-interference mitigation may provide
and demonstrated advanced receiver the ability to build full-duplex nodes that simultaneously transmit and receive at the
techniques that enable communication same frequency.
in the presence of interference and jam-
ming without significant degradation Without using multiple-antenna miti- By combining these techniques with
in link performance [3]. The diversity gation techniques, a typical communica- a mechanical design that provides natu-
provided by multiple transmitting tion link would simply fail or at best be ral transmitter-to-receiver isolation, it
antennas allows the system to avoid forced to reduce its data rate by factors of may be possible to build full-duplex
signal interference, and the multiple thousands to millions, making the links nodes that simultaneously transmit
receiving antennas allow the system effectively useless. Advanced mitigation and receive at the same frequency.
to mitigate the effects of interference. techniques such as STAP make the loss in This approach would break one of the
Mitigation is achieved by subtracting performance essentially negligible. fundamental bottlenecks in wireless
the jamming and interference compo- Joint Transmit/Receive Arrays networking: nodes that operated in
nents of the signal seen at one receiv- The Laboratory is also extending its a half-duplex mode had to choose to
ing antenna from signals received at MIMO research to include the adaptive either transmit or receive at a given
other antennas. While the idea of using use of joint transmitting and receiv- frequency. This full-duplex-node tech-
multiple antennas to null or mitigate ing antenna arrays. In order to do this, nology makes possible various military
the transmitter must have an estimate and commercial applications, such as
With the use of MIMO communica- of the channel, i.e., the environment wireless data networks and robotics
tion techniques, multipath need not between the transmitting antenna systems.
be a hindrance and can be exploited array and the receiving antenna array.
to increase potential data rates and References
Given this estimate of the channel, the
simultaneously improve the robust- [1] D.W. Bliss, K.W. Forsythe, and
transmitter can make intelligent deci-
ness of wireless links. A.M. Chan, MIMO wireless commu-
sions that improve performance of the
nication, Lincoln Laboratory Journal,
intended link while simultaneously vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 97126, 2005.
jammers is not new, the Laboratory has reducing interference to other commu-
pushed these approaches significantly [2] A.R. Margetts, K.W. Forsythe, and
nication links. D.W. Bliss, Direct space-time GF(q)
and achieved remarkable mitigation Extreme examples of this joint trans- LDPC modulation, Conference Record
performance in a variety of applications mitter and receiver adaptation have of the Fortieth Asilomar Conference on
(communications, geolocation, GPS). been demonstrated theoretically and Signals, Systems & Computers, Pacific
Space-time adaptive processing Grove, Calif., October 2006.
experimentally [4]. In one example, a
(STAP) is a class of techniques used node with separate transmitting and [3] D.W. Bliss, Robust MIMO wireless
to improve mitigation performance. communication in the presence of
receiving antenna arrays optimizes the
In this context, space refers to the interference using ad hoc antenna
space-time coding such that the receiv- arrays, Proceedings of MILCOM 03
multiple antennas and time refers to ing antennas are protected from the (Boston), October 2003.
delay variations caused by multipath. transmitted energy. The residual self- [4] D.W. Bliss, P.A. Parker, and A.R.
The STAP approaches, which allow for interference signal power is mitigated Margetts, Simultaneous transmis-
improved matching of the signals seen using advanced receiver techniques sion and reception for improved wire-
at the receiving antennas, enable the such as STAP and temporal-interference less network performance, Conference
subtraction to work better; therefore, Proceedings of the IEEE Statistical Signal
mitigation (Figure 2).
jammer mitigation is improved. Processing Workshop, August 2007.

Opinions, interpretations, and recommendations herein are not necessarily endorsed by Lincoln
Laboratorys government sponsors. Work described in this document is performed under the prime
contract with the U.S. Air Force, FA8721-05-C-0002.