Ray-Tracing-Based Numerical Assessment of the Spatiotemporal Duty Cycle of 5G Massive MIMO in an Outdoor Urban Environment

Sergei Shikhantsov, Arno Thielens, Sam Aerts, Leen Verloock, Guy Torfs, Luc Martens, Piet Demeester, Wout Joseph
2020 Applied Sciences  
In the near future, wireless coverage will be provided by the base stations equipped with dynamically-controlled massive phased antenna arrays that direct the transmission towards the user. This contribution describes a computational method to estimate realistic maximum power levels produced by such base stations, in terms of the time-averaged normalized antenna array gain. The Ray-Tracing method is used to simulate the electromagnetic field (EMF) propagation in an urban outdoor macro-cell
more » ... onment model. The model geometry entities are generated stochastically, which allowed generalization of the results through statistical analysis. Multiple modes of the base station operation are compared: from LTE multi-user codebook beamforming to the more advanced Maximum Ratio and Zero-Forcing precoding schemes foreseen to be implemented in the massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) communication protocols. The influence of the antenna array size, from 4 up to 100 elements, in a square planar arrangement is studied. For a 64-element array, the 95th percentile of the maximum time-averaged array gain amounts to around 20% of the theoretical maximum, using the Maximum Ratio precoding with 5 simultaneously connected users, assuming a 10 s connection duration per user. Connection between the average array gain and actual EMF levels in the environment is drawn and its implications on the human exposure in the next generation networks are discussed.
doi:10.3390/app10217631 fatcat:m7vun4norjezjofd5e5zmtqghy