Beam Switching for Millimeter Wave Communication to Support High Speed Trains


Vutha Va, Xinchen Zhang, and Robert W. Heath, Jr.


to appear in Proc. of the IEEE 82nd Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2015-Fall), Boston, USA, September 6-9, 2015.


This paper considers a millimeter wave (mmWave) system that enables multi-Gbps wireless service for high speed trains. MmWave systems require proper beam alignment to achieve good performance making it difficult to apply to high speed trains due to the need for frequent realignment. In this paper, using the IEEE 802.11ad system parameters, we first show that the channel coherence time will not be enough for communication with wide beams, and thus conventional approaches based on beam sweeping become inefficient if not impossible. Then we consider a beam switching approach that leverages the position information from the train control system for efficient beam alignment. Using this network architecture, we investigate the optimal choice of beamwidth and show that a properly optimized system can achieve multi-Gbps throughput.