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Peter Smith

Professor Peter Smith. Photo: Supplied

2016: Professor Peter Smith, Victoria University of Wellington, has been awarded a James Cook Research Fellowship in Engineering Sciences and Technologies for research entitled: 'Analysis and design of millimeter wave communication systems'

The demand for mobile data continues to increase globally. International standards bodies have set extremely challenging targets for mobile communication systems to achieve by 2020. For example, increases in data rate of the order of one hundred times are envisaged. To support these rates, new spectrum in the so-called millimeter wave bands is being considered and is expected to become an integral component of 5G (Fifth Generation wireless systems) which is expected to begin deployment in 2018-2020.

The fundamental nature of millimeter wave channels is little known, with most measurement campaigns and theoretical models only emerging in the last few years. The best current understanding of the channel leads to channel models that are ray based, depending on the random geometry of the environment. This is in stark contrast to traditional mobile communication where relatively simple statistical models exist which are extensively used in the design and analysis of systems. Hence, the fundamental analytical building blocks for millimeter wave communication are almost entirely missing due to the complexity of these ray based models.

In this project, Professor Smith aims to build up a set of analytical results for the millimeter wave channel, which form the basis of system evaluation and design. This allows him and his colleagues to develop performance evaluation methods for millimeter wave systems and also design and optimize signal processing schemes to achieve higher data rates.