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A Vision to Smart Radio Environment: Surface Wave Communication Superhighways

Wong, KK; Tong, KF; Chu, Z; Zhang, Y; (2020) A Vision to Smart Radio Environment: Surface Wave Communication Superhighways. IEEE Wireless Communications 10.1109/MWC.001.2000162. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

IEEE Complementary to traditional approaches that focus on transceiver design for bringing the best out of unstable, lossy fading channels, one radical development in wireless communications that has recently emerged is to pursue a smart radio environment by using software-defined materials or programmable metasurfaces for establishing favorable propagation conditions. This article portraits a vision of communication superhighways enabled by surface wave (SW) propagation on intelligent surfaces for future smart radio environments. The concept differs from the mainstream efforts of using passive elements on a large surface for bouncing off radio waves intelligently toward intended user terminals. In the proposed SW vision, energy efficiency can be much higher, due to more desirable propagation characteristics compared to open-space radio propagation. The fact that SW is inherently confined to the smart surface not only greatly simplifies the task of interference management, but also makes possible exceptionally localized high-speed interference-less data access. We shall outline the opportunities and challenges arising from the SW paradigm. We shall also attempt to shed light on several key enabling technologies that make this realizable. One important technology which will be discussed is a software-controlled fluidic waveguiding architecture that permits dynamic creation of high-throughput data highways.

Type: Article
Title: A Vision to Smart Radio Environment: Surface Wave Communication Superhighways
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/MWC.001.2000162
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1109/MWC.001.2000162
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Surface waves, Surface impedance, Surface treatment, Wireless communication, Interference, Power capacitors, Corrugated surfaces
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104025
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