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Best Paper Award for Novel Approach to Wireless Spectrum Shortage

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Veröffentlicht am Montag, den 17. September 2018

We can’t see them, but the radio frequencies used for wireless communication, whether via satellites or cellular networks, are some of the world’s most valuable resources. And they are finite.

For the last decade, data-hungry services such as TV on demand and mobile broadband have been putting enormous pressure on this resource, and the growing importance of IoT, autonomous vehicles and cloud services is set to create a new boom in demand. To accommodate this, scientists are developing new ways to make better use of the limited bandwidth available.

In recognition of their work addressing a key aspect of this challenge, researchers at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) recently received the prestigious European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP) 2018 Best Paper Award. Their 2013 paper, Interference alignment for spectral coexistence of heterogeneous networks, presented new ‘Interference Alignment (IA)’ methods, which help to allow different types of wireless networks to operate over the same frequency band, making more efficient use of the available radio spectrum.

L-R: Prof. Abdelhak Zoubir (President, EURASIP), Dr. Shree Krishna Sharma, Prof. Björn Ottersten and Prof. Kostas Berberidis (EURASIP Awards Director)

For example, traditional ‘monobeam’ satellites, covering huge geographical areas, can coexist with new ‘multibeam’ satellites, which cater to the specific communication demands of particular areas. In order for these different systems to coexist, however, we need to ensure that the newer satellite systems do not interfere with those already in operation. Interference Alignment (IA) does this by coordinating signals sent to and from the different satellites so that interference is limited to small overlapping ‘shadows’ that can be dealt with easily.

Dr. Shree Krishna Sharma, Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas and Prof. Björn Ottersten tested a number of different IA techniques and proposed a novel method, which protects the existing monobeam satellite system against the harmful interference. Their method is equally applicable to the world of cellular networks, where macro-cell base stations, providing coverage to large areas, can operate on the same frequencies as newer small-cell stations, which can better meet the demands of smart mobile devices.

The EURASIP annual best paper awards recognise the outstanding contributions published in EURASIP sponsored journals over a 4-year time frame. Dr. Shree Krishna Sharma, lead author of the paper, puts its success down to the ever-growing scale of the problem. “When we wrote this paper Interference Alignment was a novel topic”, says Dr. Sharma. “We were really among the first to apply IA techniques in the satellite domain, and our approach was very objective-orientated, so we were already providing a solution. The spectrum scarcity issue has significantly grown over the last four years and our work today continues to focus on hybrid satellite-terrestrial systems which are cooperative, collaborative and intelligent, rather than individual devices working in isolation.”

The paper was published in the EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking in 2013, and the award was presented on 4 September 2018 during EUSIPCO 2018 conference in Rome, Italy.

Reference: S. K. Sharma, S. Chatzinotas and B. Ottersten, “Interference alignment for spectral coexistence of heterogeneous networks", EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, December 2013, 2013:46.