Application of simple adaptive beamforming antennas in indoor wireless networks
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AbstractIndoor wireless computer networks based upon the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 suite of standards are increasingly being deployed to enable mobile data services. As these networks evolve, the underlying technologies enabling these networks will need to improve in order to meet ever-increasing demands on the networks' performance. Areas for improvement include range, data throughput, and interference mitigation. One way of improving the performance of 802.11 devices is through the use of adaptive antennas. These antennas are capable of dynamically adjusting their performance to suit particular wireless communication environments such that the highest possible signal fidelity is always maintained. One particularly appropriate adaptive antenna for 802.11 networks is the electronically steerable passive array radiator (ESPAR) antenna as it offers reasonable performance without prohibitive costs. This thesis evaluates the deployment of an ESPAR antenna in an 802.11 network. The ESPAR antenna is discussed along with relevant information on wireless communications and the 802.11 standards. An ESPAR antenna prototype has been fabricated and a test system created for evaluating the effect of an ESPAR antenna on 802.11 systems' bit error rate performance. Both the prototype and measurement system are presented along with results from measurements performed in a typical urban office. Conclusions are provided along with suggestions for future research in this area.
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