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  1. Baseband processing algorithms often require knowledge of the noise power, signal power, or signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In practice, these parameters are typically unknown and must be estimated. Furthermore, the mean-square error (MSE) is a desirable metric to be minimized in a variety of estimation and signal recovery algorithms. However, the MSE cannot directly be used as it depends on the true signal that is generally unknown to the estimator. In this paper, we propose novel blind estimators for the average noise power, average receive signal power, SNR, and MSE. The proposed estimators can be computed at low complexity and solely rely on the large-dimensional and sparse nature of the processed data. Our estimators can be used (i) to quickly track some of the key system parameters while avoiding additional pilot overhead, (ii) to design low-complexity nonparametric algorithms that require such quantities, and (iii) to accelerate more sophisticated estimation or recovery algorithms. We conduct a theoretical analysis of the proposed estimators for a Bernoulli complex Gaussian (BCG) prior, and we demonstrate their efficacy via synthetic experiments. We also provide three application examples that deviate from the BCG prior in millimeter-wave multi-antenna and cell-free wireless systems for which we develop nonparametric denoising algorithms that improve channel-estimation accuracy with a performance comparable to denoisers that assume perfect knowledge of the system parameters. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Cell-free communication has the potential to significantly improve grant-free transmission in massive machine-type communication, wherein multiple access points jointly serve a large number of user equipments to improve coverage and spectral efficiency. In this paper, we propose a novel framework for joint active user detection (AUD), channel estimation (CE), and data detection (DD) for massive grant-free transmission in cell-free systems. We formulate an optimization problem for joint AUD, CE, and DD by considering both the sparsity of the data matrix, which arises from intermittent user activity, and the sparsity of the effective channel matrix, which arises from intermittent user activity and large-scale fading. We approximately solve this optimization problem with a box-constrained forward-backward splitting algorithm, which significantly improves AUD, CE, and DD performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework through simulation experiments. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 25, 2024
  3. Millimeter-wave (mmWave) cell-free massive multiuser (MU) multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems combine the large bandwidths available at mmWave frequencies with the improved coverage of cell-free systems. However, to combat the high path loss at mmWave frequencies, user equipments (UEs) must form beams in meaningful directions, i.e., to a nearby access point (AP). At the same time, multiple UEs should avoid transmitting to the same AP to reduce MU interference. We propose an interference-aware method for beam alignment (BA) in the cell-free mmWave massive MU-MIMO uplink. In the considered scenario, the APs perform full digital receive beamforming while the UEs perform analog transmit beamforming. We evaluate our method using realistic mmWave channels from a commercial ray-tracer, showing the superiority of the proposed method over omnidirectional transmission as well as over methods that do not take MU interference into account. 
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  4. Recent channel state information (CSI)-based positioning pipelines rely on deep neural networks (DNNs) in order to learn a mapping from estimated CSI to position. Since real-world communication transceivers suffer from hardware impairments, CSI-based positioning systems typically rely on features that are designed by hand. In this paper, we propose a CSI-based positioning pipeline that directly takes raw CSI measurements and learns features using a structured DNN in order to generate probability maps describing the likelihood of the transmitter being at pre-defined grid points. To further improve the positioning accuracy of moving user equipments, we propose to fuse a time-series of learned CSI features or a time-series of probability maps. To demonstrate the efficacy of our methods, we perform experiments with real-world indoor line-of-sight (LoS) and nonLoS channel measurements. We show that CSI feature learning and time-series fusion can reduce the mean distance error by up to 2.5× compared to the state-of-the-art. 
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  5. We present a tunable LNA for software defined radio based on a compact, tunable transmission line (CTTL) element. The CTTL acts as a passive, widely tunable LC resonance in a cascoded, common source LNA to implement an instantaneously narrowband, multi-octave tunable LNA. The resulting circuit, fabricated in 65nm CMOS, is tunable from 3.5-20GHz, and consumes 12 mW with gain >12dB, ≥ -9.6dBV in-band OP1dB, and OOB B1dB up to 31dB higher than the in-band B1dB due to the CTTL-tuned LC filtering. The CTTL-tuned LNA represents a more blocker-tolerant approach to achieving high frequency, software-defined LNAs without significant compromises in other LNA performance metrics. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Channel state information (CSI)-based fingerprinting via neural networks (NNs) is a promising approach to enable accurate indoor and outdoor positioning of user equipments (UEs), even under challenging propagation conditions. In this paper, we propose a positioning pipeline for wireless LAN MIMO-OFDM systems which uses uplink CSI measurements obtained from one or more unsynchronized access points (APs). For each AP receiver, novel features are first extracted from the CSI that are robust to system impairments arising in real-world transceivers. These features are the inputs to a NN that extracts a probability map indicating the likelihood of a UE being at a given grid point. The NN output is then fused across multiple APs to provide a final position estimate. We provide experimental results with real-world indoor measurements under line-of-sight (LoS) and non-LoS propagation conditions for an 80 MHz bandwidth IEEE 802.11ac system using a two-antenna transmit UE and two AP receivers each with four antennas. Our approach is shown to achieve centimeter-level median distance error, an order of magnitude improvement over a conventional baseline. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Massive multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) wireless systems operating at millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies enable simultaneous wideband data transmission to a large number of users. In order to reduce the complexity of MU precoding in all-digital basestation architectures that equip each antenna element with a pair of data converters, we propose a two-stage precoding architecture which first generates a sparse precoding matrix in the beamspace domain, followed by an inverse fast Fourier transform that converts the result to the antenna domain. The sparse precoding matrix requires a small amount of multipliers and enables regular hardware architectures, which allows the design of hardware-efficient all-digital precoders. Simulation results demonstrate that our methods approach the error-rate performance of conventional Wiener filter precoding with more than 2x lower complexity. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    Beamspace processing is an emerging technique to reduce baseband complexity in massive multiuser (MU) multipleinput multiple-output (MIMO) communication systems operating at millimeter-wave (mmWave) and terahertz frequencies. The high directionality of wave propagation at such high frequencies ensures that only a small number of transmission paths exist between user equipments and basestation (BS). In order to resolve the sparse nature of wave propagation, beamspace processing traditionally computes a spatial discrete Fourier transform (DFT) across a uniform linear antenna array at the BS where each DFT output is associated with a specific beam. In this paper, we study optimality conditions of the DFT for sparsity-based beamspace processing with idealistic mmWave channel models and realistic channels. To this end, we propose two algorithms that learn unitary beamspace transforms using an l4-norm-based sparsity measure, and we investigate their optimality theoretically and via simulations. 
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  9. Cognitive radio aims at identifying unused radio-frequency (RF) bands with the goal of re-using them opportunistically for other services. While compressive sensing (CS) has been used to identify strong signals (or interferers) in the RF spectrum from sub-Nyquist measurements, identifying unused frequencies from CS measurements appears to be uncharted territory. In this paper, we propose a novel method for identifying unused RF bands using an algorithm we call least matching pursuit (LMP). We present a sufficient condition for which LMP is guaranteed to identify unused frequency bands and develop an improved algorithm that is inspired by our theoretical result. We perform simulations for a CS-based RF whitespace detection task in order to demonstrate that LMP is able to outperform black-box approaches that build on deep neural networks. 
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