A 3D Detect-array for Low-complexity W-band Beam Sensing and Direction-of-Arrival Estimation

This paper presents a proof-of-concept system for low-complexity mmWave beam sensing at W-band that can be used for RF direction-of-arrival (DoA) estimation. Instead of relying on complicated RSSI- or phase-detecting receivers, the system exploits 3D geometric structures with single-diode power detector arrays (detect-arrays) to estimate a mmWave beam's DoA. Such low-complexity detectors can be highly advantageous for mobile units in enterprise IoT settings, where mmWave access points are already deployed for high-datarate communication. The latter can cooperatively provide signal bursts to achieve location awareness for drones or robots in GPS-denied indoor environments, without the need for highly-complex receivers with downconverter chains. The technique could be beneficial in establishing positioning reference points or assisting inertial measurement units (IMUs) to reset their accumulative error.