Electromagnetic waves undergo multiple uncontrollable alterations as they propagate within a wireless environment. Free space path loss, signal absorption, as well as reflections, refractions and diffractions caused by physical objects within the environment highly affect the performance of wireless communications. Currently, such effects are intractable to account for and are treated as probabilistic factors. The paper proposes a radically different approach, enabling deterministic, programmable control over the behavior of the wireless environments. The key-enabler is the so-called HyperSurface tile, a novel class of planar meta-materials which can interact with impinging electromagnetic waves in a controlled manner. The HyperSurface tiles can effectively re-engineer electromagnetic waves, including steering towards any desired direction, full absorption, polarization manipulation and more. Multiple tiles are employed to coat objects such as walls, furniture, overall, any objects in the indoor and outdoor environments. An external software service calculates and deploys the optimal interaction types per tile, to best fit the needs of communicating devices. Evaluation via simulations highlights the potential of the new concept.
- Pub Date:
- June 2018
- Electrical Engineering and Systems Science - Signal Processing;
- Computer Science - Emerging Technologies;
- Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture;
- Computer Science - Systems and Control
- Paper accepted for publication at the IEEE Communications Magazine. This work was funded by the European Union via the Horizon 2020: Future Emerging Topics call (FETOPEN-RIA), grant EU736876, project VISORSURF: HyperSurfaces-A Hardware Platform for Software-driven Functional Metasurfaces (http://www.visorsurf.eu/)