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Technology in smart antennas for universal advanced mobile infrastructure - part 2


It is the objective of the project to demonstrate that it is feasible and cost effective to deploy adaptive antennas within the infrastructure of third generation mobile systems such as UMTS.
The project has been running for 18 months and has already made some significant achievements. Nine deliverables have been completed. Four of these deliverables have residual value outside the project and are public. These are:
D111 "Target Operator Requirements for Adaptive Antennas"
D411 "Method of Influencing Third Generation Standards"
D121 "Algorithms and Array Recommendations"
D321 " Field Trial Test Plan"
Other deliverables will be available during the year and for the latest list of published documents, contact the project co-ordinator (ERA).
Significant achievements so far include the completion of the top level design of the field trial equipment. The equipment will be deployed indoors with the antenna mounted on a mast adjacent to the building. Other achievements include the completion of user requirements survey and some intesting resulst from simulation work. Performance studies suggest that the gain in the uplink direction will be greater than downlink and the project is now studying ways of correcting this imbalance.
Expected Impact
Adaptive antennas offer greatly improved spectral efficiency by making full use of the spatial domain. Therefore adaptive antennas have an integral part to play in helping third generation systems reach their declared capacity objectives.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
Demonstrated the feasibility of fully adaptive antennas through field trials, using prototype equipment in a real mobile network. Validated the performance of adaptive antenna technology in a realistic deployment.
Contribution to the programme
Adaptive antennas offer greatly improved spectral efficiency by making use of the spatial domain. As such they have been taken into consideration by ETSI in the specification of UMTS. The project demonstrated that adaptive antennas are feasible and eventually cost effective.
Technical Approach
A 3 year programme is undertaken that builds on the work of TSUNAMI (R2108) project. The project is based around performing field trials of adaptive antennas using prototype equipment in a real mobile network and relating this to system perfomance issues using simulations and studies
The first few months were spent addressing the first logical activity of the project, that of defining requirements. Mobile operators requirements and the groundwork of the field trial including the system design choices in relation to the adaptive antenna were performed.
Experiments and simulations were carried out to allow architectural decisions to be made and the top level system design of the field trial system has been performed. Early field trials are under way to study the detailed spatial behaviour of radio propagation at 1.8 GHz. These propagation trials are currently based on narrow band data rates, but will be extended to broadband data rates later in the project. This data will be used to tune the operation of the main field trial equipment. The main field trials are planned for autumn 1997. These will be conducted on a site in Bristol in the UK, deemed appropriate for testing the operation in Micro and Macro cell deployments.
A number of studies are underway to identify better adaptive antennas tecniques and to place the work of the project into the larger context of UMTS. Joint multi-user detection techniques are deployed to great effect in advanced UMTS system proposals. A study is underway to identify how these techniques can be employed in with a multi element adaptive antenna to provide improved performance and comparability with existing UMTS proposals. The cost complexity issue of ASIC implementation will be studied. The network signalling implications are studies to identify how adaptive antennas will fit into the UMTS system.
In summary, the problem of applying adaptive antennas to third generation mobile systems is being studied from a variety of viewpoints which should lead to some useful results.
Summary of Trial
Two Field trials are conducted that include the first fully adaptive antenna system ever to be deployed in a real mobile system. In order to provide this demonstration the project has chosen to use the DCS1800 standard as the core mobile network that will be modified to include an adaptive antenna. The project will construct a single fully adaptive BTS that will be deployed and used in an operational network of a National Host.
Key Issues
Design and development of sustainable transmission systems, with very high capacity is a major challenge for the realisation of Universal Personal Telecommunication (UPT). Adaptive antennas are a new technology that have the potential to provide large increases in capacity but are largely untested in a real mobile environment. By building the field trial equipment and conducting the trial, authoritative input will be obtained to contribute to the standardisation process of third generation systems in Europe in forums such as ETSI SMG5.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


ERA Technology Ltd.
Cleeve Road
KT22 7SA Leatherhead
United Kingdom

Participants (9)

Bosch Telecom GmbH
France Télécom
38-40 Rue Du Général Leclerc
92131 Issy-les-moulineaux
United Kingdom
Orange Personal Communication Systems Ltd
United Kingdom
Polytechnic University of Catalonia
University of Aalborg
University of Bristol
United Kingdom
Senate House Tyndall Avenue
BS8 1TH Bristol
Wireless Systems
United Kingdom