A scalable algorithm for distributed receive beamforming: Analysis and experimental demonstration

We propose, analyze, and demonstrate an architecture for scalable cooperative reception. In a cluster of N + 1 receive nodes, one node is designated as the final receiver, and the N other nodes act as amplify-and-forward relays, which adapt their phases such that the relayed signals add up constructively at the designated receiver. This yields received SNR scaling linearly with N, while avoiding the linear increase in overhead incurred by a direct approach in which received signals are separately quantized and transmitted for centralized processing. By transforming the task of long-distance distributed receive beamforming into one of local distributed transmit beamforming, we can leverage a scalable one-bit feedback algorithm for phase synchronization. We show that time division between the long-distance and local links eliminates the need for explicit frequency synchronization. We provide an analytical framework, whose results closely match Monte Carlo simulations, to evaluate the impact of phase noise due to relaying delay on the performance of the one-bit feedback algorithm. Experimental results from our prototype implementa- tion on software-defined radios demonstrate the expected gains in received signal strength despite significant oscillator drift, and are consistent with results from our analytical framework.

Quitin, F., Irish, A., and Madhow, U.
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Volume: 15
Number: 3
Pages: 2039-2053
Date: March, 2016
ICB Affiliated Authors: Upamanyu Madhow