Coverage Strategies for IRS-Assisted Active Device Detection

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The technology of intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs) is a promising candidate for future wireless communication systems due to its capability of controlling the reflection of electromagnetic waves. In particular, constructive superposition of the reflected signal paths is achieved at a receiver by appropriately tuning the phase shifts of an IRS.

Recently, phase-shift designs have been proposed that do not only support a single communication link between a transmitter and a receiver, but also provide coverage of a specific area using wide reflection beams. Such designs play an important role for active device detection over an IRS-assisted channel. However, wider reflection beams result in less gain provided by the IRS. An alternative strategie is to use a codebook of narrow beams and iterate through the codebook over time, while each beam is designed to cover only one part of the area. The drawback of this approach is the increased probability of missed device detections, because the IRS does not illuminate the entire area at the same time.

Thesis Objectives

This projects aims at the comparison of both coverage strategies. By means of numerical simulations, the characteristics of both approaches shall be evaluated. Several parameters will be analysed, e.g., the size of the partitions, the iteration frequency of the phase-shift designs, etc. The tasks are summarized as follows:

  • Literature study on IRS models and phase-shift designs
  • Concept for simulation of random device activity
  • Implementation of IRS-assisted area coverage in Python (or MATLAB)
  • Comparison and evaluation of both coverage strategies

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