UNBLOCK: Low Complexity Transient Blockage Recovery for Mobile mm-Wave Devices

by   Santosh Ganji, et al.

Directional radio beams are used in the mm-Wave band to combat the high path loss. The mm-Wave band also suffers from high penetration losses from drywall, wood, glass, concrete, etc., and also the human body. Hence, as a mobile user moves, the Line of Sight (LoS) path between the mobile and the Base Station (BS) can be blocked by objects interposed in the path, causing loss of the link. A mobile with a lost link will need to be re-acquired as a new user by initial access, a process that can take up to a second, causing disruptions to applications. UNBLOCK is a protocol that allows a mobile to recover from transient blockages, such as those caused by a human hand or another human walking into the line of path or other temporary occlusions by objects, which typically disappear within the order of 100 ms, without having to go through re-acquisition. UNBLOCK is based on extensive experimentation in office type environments which has shown that while a LoS path is blocked, there typically exists a Non-LoS path, i.e., a reflected path through scatterers, with a loss within about 10 dB of the LoS path. UNBLOCK proactively keeps such a NLoS path in reserve, to be used when blockage happens, typically without any warning. UNBLOCK uses this NLoS path to maintain time-synchronization with the BS until the blockage disappears, as well as to search for a better NLoS path if available. When the transient blockage disappears, it reestablishes LoS communication at the epochs that have been scheduled by the BS for communication with the mobile.


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