Spatial Modulation HW Testbed Implementation

Visiting researcher: Dr Raed Mesleh (University of Tabuk)
Host researcher: Dr Cheng-Xiang Wang and Dr Xuemin Hong (HWU)
Duration: 2 months
Status: Completed

Biography of the visiting researcher

Dr. Mesleh received the B.Sc. degree in communication engineering from Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan in 2000, the M.Sc. degree in communication technology from Ulm University, Ulm, Germany in 2004 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany in 2007. In October 2010, he joined University of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia where he is now an assistant professor in electrical engineering department. From September 2007 until September 2010, he had been with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow. His main research interests are in wireless communication and optical wireless communication with particular focus on MIMO techniques. He is a co-inventor of seven patents, three of them are already granted, in the field of RF and optical wireless communication systems.

Dr. Mesleh received a tuition waiver for his PhD study at Jacobs University along with a three years scholarship. In 2003, he received the award for the best student performance in the M.Sc. course at Ulm University (LEG award) and, in 2000, he received the award for the best graduate communication engineer in year 2000 from Yarmouk University. Dr. Mesleh joined Orange in Amman, Jordan (2000-2001), as a system Engineer and worked as a consultant for NOKIA is Saudi Arabia from 2001 to 2002. Dr. Mesleh serves as a technical reviewer for several IEEE transaction journals and international conferences and he is a TPC member for several international conferences in wireless communications.

Background and motivation

Spatial modulation (SM) is a spatial multiplexing MIMO technique that is shown to enhance the overall system performance as compared to existing techniques, such as V-BLAST and Alamouti, for relatively small number of transmit antennas and in different channel conditions. In SM, only single transmit antenna among the set of existing transmit antennas is active at any particular time instance. The active antenna index is a source of information that should be estimated alongside the transmitted data symbol at the receiver. Both estimations are used to retrieve the transmitted data bits. SM was proposed by Dr Mesleh during his PhD study. The title of his PhD thesis was: Spatial Modulation: A spatial multiplexing technique for efficient wireless data transmission. Since then, SM has been investigated by several research groups worldwide. Techniques such space shift keying (SSK), generalized SSK (GSSK), trellis coded SM (TCSM), and space-time shift keying (STSK) are proposed by several researchers that utilize the main concept of SM and generalize its idea. All proposed techniques can be categorized under a new MIMO family called spatial modulation. The performance of these techniques is shown to be very promising and SM is proven to be a key technology for future wireless communication systems. In addition, SM is proposed for indoor optical wireless communication and the published initial results are very promising.

Therefore, the theoretical analysis of SM has been well investigated in the past few years. However, there exist no experimental results for SM and the proposed project will allow the first measurement results for SM. The project will develop a hardware test-bed to measure the performance of SM and all its subsystems under different channel environments, including channel correlation, flat and frequency selective channels, as well as indoor and outdoor environments. The measured performance will validate all existing theoretical analysis and demonstrate the potential of SM. For the sake of comparison, techniques such as V-BLAST, Alamouti, and LDPC MIMO will be implemented and the performance will be measured using the developed test-bed. Besides, SSK, GSSK, TCSM, and STSK systems will be also implemented and their performance will be evaluated experimentally. 

Research activities

The proposed research aims at establishing a hardware test-bed for spatial Modulation. The test-bed will be implemented using two development boards each connected to a PC. One PC acts as a transmitter and another PC acts as receiver. The complete setup should be flexible and allows a 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO setups. The setup will be used as well for indoor MIMO channel modeling. The transmit and receive antennas can be oriented and directed at several locations to model different MIMO channel environments such as channel correlation, Rician channel, and others. The test-bed will be also used to measure the performance of other MIMO techniques such as V-BLAST, space-time coding (STC), SSK, GSSK, STSK, and generalized spatial modulation (GSM).


A link-level narrow-band spatial modulation system has been built based on the AWiTec MIMO testbed. The base-band processing is done using Matlab. The modulated base-band signals are passed throgh the RF modules of the MIMO testbed to transmit over air. Spatial modulation with different antenna setup (2X2, 4X2) and modulation schemes (BPSK, QPSK) have been successfully implemented on the MIMO testbed.

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