Efficient Channel Estimation for Reconfigurable MIMO Antennas: Training Techniques and Performance Analysis
Multifunctional and reconfigurable multiple-input multiple-output (MR-MIMO) antennas are capable of dynamically changing the operation frequencies, polarizations, and radiation patterns, and can remarkably enhance system capabilities. However, in coherent communication systems, using MR-MIMO antennas with a large number of operational modes may incur prohibitive complexity due to the need for channel state estimation for each mode. To address this issue, we derive an explicit relation among the radiation patterns for the antenna modes and the resulting channel gains. We propose a joint channel estimation/prediction scheme where only a subset of all the antenna modes is trained for estimation, and then, the channels associated with the modes that are not trained are predicted using the correlations among the different antenna modes. We propose various training mechanisms with reduced overhead and improved estimation performance, and study the impact of channel estimation error and training overhead on the MR-MIMO system performance. We demonstrate that one can achieve significantly improved data rates and lower error probabilities utilizing the proposed approaches. For instance, under practical settings, we observe about 25% throughput increase or about 3-dB signal-to-noise ratio improvement under the same training overhead with respect to non-reconfigurable antenna systems.