Wireless Research Centre


Project Number: 2019-46

Project Leader: Graeme Woodward

Host Department: Wireless Research Centre

Project Title: Hybrid beamforming for 5G

Project outline: 5G cellular systems utilise much higher frequency bands, and will also exploit very large arrays of antennas, so-called "massive MIMO".  The smaller wavelengths allow much more compact, dense arrays of antennas.  Also, the challenging propagation conditions at higher frequencies and the quest for ever increasing data throughputs motivate the use of techniques such as spatial multiplexing and beamforming.

One significant challenge with massive MIMO is the cost of RF chains.  This project will explore the use of hybrid beamforming, where the number of RF chains is significantly lower than the number of antennas by combining digital beamforming with a bank of analog phase shifters.  This work is motivated by that published by Sohrabi et al 2016.  The exploration will be a combination of literature survey and simulation to look at the performance and modification of published schemes.

[Sohrabi2016] F. Sohrabi and W. Yu, "Hybrid Digital and Analog Beamforming Design for Large-Scale Antenna Arrays," in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 501-513, April 2016

 Specific Requirements: Strong skills in linear algebra are required, and experience writing in a high-level mathematical modelling language such as Matlab or Julia is preferred.    The ideal student would also be interested in future postgraduate study in 5G/6G cellular systems.



Project Number: 2019-47

Project Leader: Graeme Woodward, Anastasia Lavrenko

Host Department: Wireless Research Centre

Project Title: Drone swarming - formation flying

Project outline: The goal of this project is to develop and demonstrate in the field a 'swarm' of 4 or more UAVs (drones) flying in a tight formation, supporting a robust communication network for interchange of information between swarm nodes.  This will build upon prior work with a single drone capable of following a target.  Ultimately it is intended that the drones will support a distributed radar system, and so accurate tracking of a path and the maintenance of accurate position of nodes relative to each other are key performance constraints.

Specific Requirements: The candidate will be expected to have basic knowledge of wireless communications and networking principles, and be competent in programming in a high level language such a C or Python.  Some experience with configuring electronics hardware (robotics/drones), and/or flying drones would be an advantage.



Project Number: 2019-48

Project Leader: Graeme Woodward, Anastasia Lavrenko

Host Department: Wireless Research Centre

Project Title: Harmonic radar for localisation of small objects

Project outline: The goal of this project is to explore methods to do accurate ranging of a target using a miniature harmonic radar tag.  The system will be implemented using a software defined radio and off-the-shelf radio equipment.  Ultimately the aim is to get accurate ranging from multiple points to enable multi-lateration.  This may require some experimentation with different synchronisation methods and system architectures (e.g. monostatic vis multi-static radar).  The goal at the end of the project is an in-field demonstration of localisation of the harmonic radar tag to within a few metres.

Specific Requirements: The student will be expected to have competence in signal processing (e.g. filtering, FFT, correlation etc.), and programming (e.g. in C or Python to build modules within a GNU Radio environment).  Some knowledge of fundamental wireless communications principles will also be expected.