Distributed beamforming in man portable communication networks
Chan, Chun Man.
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The advancement in communication and networking technologies lead to the emergence of network centric systems adopted by military forces. Many military forces around the world are equipping their ground soldiers with "man portable" or "mobile" wireless communication devices to form a local communication network as part of the overarching communication network for information warfare. In a non-line of sight environment, the devices' communication range to the base station degrades significantly. The research objective is to examine collaborative beamforming man portable wireless communication networks in a non-ideal propagation operation environment such as in a terrain with foliage. Using distributed beamforming techniques with wireless radios, the communication range can be increased to overcome foliage attenuation and other losses. Seasonal foliage effects on the wireless network were considered in the study. Wireless beamforming strategies were devised and an analysis of system performance and tradeoffs was conducted. System synchronization of the wireless collaborative communication network is a major challenge due to the lack of fixed infrastructure and the dynamic topology of the network. Two network synchronization schemes: mutual synchronization and master-slave synchronization were investigated. Finally, an analysis of phase errors, which affect the gains achieved by distributed beamforming, was performed.
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