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Communication Sensing and Imaging Lab

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

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Wireless Communications and Electromagnetics

Intelligent Programmable Wireless Environment

The project aims to exploit machine learning for physical layer security design for communication in a challenging wireless environment. The radio environment is assumed to be programmable with the aid of a meta material-based intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) allowing customisable path loss, multi-path fading and interference effects. In particular, the fine-grained reflections from the IRS elements are exploited to create channel advantage for maximizing the secrecy rate at a legitimate receiver. A deep learning (DL) technique has been developed to tune the reflections of the IRS elements in real-time. 

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SELF-ORGANISED NETWORKS (SONS)

5G & beyond networks will rely on ultra-densification to achieve and maintain targeted key performance indicators (KPIs). An extreme variety in services and corresponding KPIs are expected in future networks. AI-enabled self-organised networks (SONs) can guarantee energy efficiency, low-cost operation, and ubiquitous coverage, and it can make the network proactive rather than reactive. In this project, we will develop AI-enabled proactive SON functions on load balancing, resource optimisation, mobility and handover management, and energy saving. The project will also design agile and scalable self-healing functionalities for ultra-dense future cellular networks.

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FREE-SPACE OPTICS AND WIRELESS BACKHAUL

As we move towards 5G and beyond, the need for overcoming the issue of spectrum-crunch is testing the nerves of reliability and security of our modern-day communication systems. This can be efficiently tackled via utilising non-traditional spectrum range that is license-free in its availability and inherently secure while being enormously robust. FSO technology boasts of being complimentary to the traditional radiofrequency (RF) communication systems and millimetre wave (mmWave) technology, among others. Hence, based on this highlighting feature, FSO technology will be the source solution towards wireless backhaul. Specifically, we address issues in modelling FSO wireless transmissions and analysing its performance while this technology is utilised with RF and mmWave technologies in complementary fashion. Based on this analysis, we have been deeply investigating these systems from physical-layer (PHY) security perspective as well. Subsequently, we have devised adaptive algorithms in improving throughput of mixed RF-FSO systems.

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PHYSICAL LAYER OF WIRELESS/CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS

Our research has focused on several aspects of the design of the technologies that enable the efficient information communication on wireless channel. This includes the design of efficient new waveforms (FBMC, UFMC, GFDM etc.), their theoretical and practical performance evaluation and their impact on system level performance. We also work on Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access techniques (NOMA) and its related waveforms (LDS, SCMA etc.) and its implications on system level performance. Our work also covers antenna and multi-antenna systems design and performance evaluation, together with hybrid beamforming and the potential of Visible Light Communication (VLC) for the future generation of cellular and wireless applications (the 5G). As a group, we are also working on receiver design aspects such as OFDM and CDMA systems and the physical layer security applications in Machine-to-Machine type and Internet-of-Things (IoT) communications. Our school of thought relies on exploiting the physical layer attributes for designing such systems.

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ENERGY AND SPECTRUM EFFICIENT CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS

Our research focuses on reducing the energy bills for the network operators as well as saving the planet by reducing the carbon footprint of cellular networks. We look at energy efficient design at component level, energy harvesting solutions, efficient design of node level subsystems including power amplifier and then system level solutions like discontinuous transmissions and efficient cell-muting. Cognitive radio networking is further exploited for high spectrum efficiency via cooperative and cluster-based spectrum sensing algorithms. With the objective of minimizing leased spectrum cost, the user requests are served with the sensed spectrum or put in a time bound queue in case of free spectrum unavailability. With the objective of minimizing leased spectrum cost, the user requests are served with the sensed spectrum or put in a time bound queue in case of free spectrum unavailability. We work on fundamental performance limits as well as practical solutions approaching these limits. We also look at disruptive modern technologies like Device to Device and mm-Wave for their potential of energy efficient communications. We have pioneering publications on the futuristic architecture of Control Data Split (CDSA) to enable energy efficient operation of cellular systems.

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VERTICAL MARKETS FOR WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS

As a research group, we holistically exploit our capabilities to provide solutions to the vertical industries exploiting the capabilities of wireless communications. This includes (but is not limited to) smart cars, smart metering, smart manufacturing, financial markets, ultra-reliable communication, tactile internet, cost-effective solutions for covering rural areas, mHealth, Healthcare for underprivileged and Health Informatics, communications for learning and teaching solutions, delay tolerant services, use of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles UAVs for different services, communication for reshaping energy demand, smart grid, Smart spaces, Mobile phone applications and many more areas.

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ULTRA-RELIABLE LOW LATENCY COMMUNICATIONS (URLLC)

5G systems simultaneously support numerous services (use cases) and need to span a wide range of requirements. Besides the race for increased data rates in 5G networks, enabling ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) is another challenge in 5G networks. Notion of reliability in URLLC not only includes reliable transmission of data in a network, but it includes time dimension as well. The data must be delivered within the latency targets reliably and the latency target are for end-to-end system. URLLC finds applications in health sector, autonomous vehicles, industrial control, mission critical applications, and many other emerging areas. The challenge is to develop resource allocation mechanisms in a wireless network that enable URLLC. The topic of interest in this emerging area of research include techniques like wireless proactive caching, fog computing, cloud RAN, hybrid ARQ, Device to Device communication and network slicing to name a few.

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BLOCKCHAIN WIRELESS NETWORKS

Blockchain is primarily designed in stable wired communication environment running on advanced devices, which is not suitable for high dynamic fading wireless connected digital society that composed of massive low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Wireless blockchain networks will analyse and optimise the blockchain security and performance such as transaction throughput, latency, and scalability, through jointly designing blockchain and wireless communication system architecture, protocol, algorithms, and deployment.

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NEW ANTENNAS (THZ AND MMWAVE)

Demand of high transmission data rates, low latency, high reliability, and interference-free operation for applications in communications, infotainment, autonomous vehicles, positioning & localisation, smart healthcare, and smart agriculture is ever-increasing. The need is driving the development of wireless networks fostering the exploration of new spectrum along with the use of conventional frequencies and Millimetre-wave (30 to 300 GHz) and Terahertz (0.1 to 10 THz) bands are considered as the front-runner enabling technologies for future wireless networks. High performing wireless devices require efficient low-profile antennas offering larger bandwidth, higher gain and insensitivity to the human user presence while maintaining reasonable performance in ever-shrinking form-factors and under extreme interference conditions to ensure reliable communications.

The antenna design cluster in CSI is taking on this challenging task and provides insight into the antenna design considerations fostering novel approaches for the development of efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and reliable antenna solutions for wireless networks and Internet of Things. Some of the key areas being investigated are massive MIMO antenna systems and beamforming techniques, smart reconfigurable and multiband antennas, antennas for wearable and implantable devices, base station and mobile terminal antennas, antennas for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, phased array antennas, RFID antennas, GNSS antennas and AI-enabled antenna solutions.

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