TeraRays: The 3D Channel Simulation Platform for 5G and Beyond


Over the last decade, wireless data traffic has drastically grown due to a change in the way today's society creates, shares and consumes information. This change has been accompanied by an increasing demand for higher speed wireless communication anywhere, anytime. To meet these requirements, 5G wireless systems have set the overall technical goal to achieve 1000 times higher mobile data volume per area (10 to 100 times higher number of connected devices and 10 to 100 times higher user data rate), 10 times longer battery life for low power massive machine communication, and 5 times reduced end-to-end latency, relative to today. A specific challenge for this goal is to provide the realistic and high quality radio propagation models for the 5G propagation scenarios and test cases.

The identified requirements of the 5G channel model include the wide range of propagation scenarios and network topologies, the ultra-wide frequency range (from 350 MHz up to 100 GHz), very high bandwidths (over 500 MHz), fully three dimensional and accurate polarization modeling, spherical wave modeling and high spatial resolution, support of extremely large array antennas, large-scale and small-scale spatial consistency among various link types, and dual-mobility for device-to-device (D2D), machine-to-machine (M2M), vehicular-to-vehicular (V2V) communications. The state-of-the-art channel models such as 3GPP/3GPP2 Spatial Channel Model (SCM), WINNER II/+, and ITU-R IMT-Advanced, 3GPP 3D-UMi and 3D-UMa, and IEEE 802.11ad were found to be inadequate for these 5G requirements. Consequently, investigation and implementation of new channel models for 5G wireless systems are needed and become the focus of this project.

In this project, we develop a comprehensive simulation platform for enabling millimeter wave (30-300 GHz) and Terahertz (THz) bands (0.1 - 10 THz) communications for 5G and beyond. Specifically, we implement the map-based channel model for mm-wave and THz bands, to fully satisfy the aforementioned requirements in real-world communication scenarios in both outdoor and indoor environments. The map-based model is based on the ray-tracing technique, which uses a simplified three dimensional geometric description of the propagation environment. In particular, the significant propagation mechanisms such as shadowing, line-of-sight (LOS), specular reflection, diffraction, and diffuse scattering are taken into account in this model. Therefore, the simulation platform provides accurate and realistic spatial channel properties and is suitable for evaluating massive MIMO/advanced beamforming, and also for realistic path loss modeling in cases of D2D and V2V, in the mm-wave and THz frequency band communication systems.