Project Title: Collaborative Research: CNS Core: Medium: Localization in Millimeter Wave Cellular Networks: Fundamentals, Algorithms, and Measurement-inspired Simulator

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation (Division Of Computer and Network Systems)

Award Number: CNS-2107276 (Virginia Tech) and CNS-2106602 (USC)

Project Summary: 

The ability to find one’s location can provide convenience, enable many new applications, and may even mean the difference between life and death in safety-critical applications such as E-911. While global satellite systems, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), provide accurate outdoor positioning under clear sky conditions, they do not perform well indoors, in urban canyons, or under tree canopies, due to the lower signal strength or even total signal blockage. In such scenarios, devices have to rely on the terrestrial wireless communications networks, primarily cellular and/or WiFi networks, for positioning. The new 5G standard has enabled utilizing vast spectrum in the millimeter wave (mmWave) range for communications, and its large bandwidth promises high location accuracy. However, since mmWave signals exhibit fundamentally different properties than the lower frequency signals used in the traditional cellular networks, localization algorithms used in the current networks may not be effective in 5G. Since the emphasis of 5G system design has been on communications, mmWave localization has not received as much attention. Responding to this urgent need, this project develops the first comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to localization in mmWave cellular networks by merging ideas from diverse areas such as propagation science, localization theory, stochastic geometry, and system-level simulations. It will also develop a first-of-its-kind open-source mmWave localization simulator that combines all research contributions in a form that can be easily adopted by the research community. Further broader impacts will be through education, research dissemination, industry collaboration, and broadening participation of students.