Beam acquisition and training in millimeter wave networks with narrowband pilots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies initial beam acquisition in a millimeter wave network consisting of multiple access points (APs) and mobile devices. A training protocol for joint estimation of transmit and receive beams is presented with a general frame structure consisting of an initial access sub-frame followed by data transmission sub-frames. During the initial subframe, APs and mobiles sweep through a set of beams and determine the best transmit and receive beams via a handshake. All pilot signals are narrowband (tones), and the mobiles are distinguished by their assigned pilot frequencies. Both non-coherent and coherent beam estimation methods based on, respectively, power detection and maximum likelihood (ML) are presented. To avoid exchanging information about beamforming vectors between APs and mobiles, a local maximum likelihood (LML) algorithm is also presented. An efficient fast Fourier transform implementation is proposed for ML and LML to achieve high-resolution. A system-level optimization is performed in which the frame length, training time, and training bandwidth are selected to maximize a rate objective taking into account blockage and mobility. Simulation results based on a realistic network topology are presented to compare the performance of different estimation methods and training codebooks, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Feb 6 2019


  • Channel estimation
  • Initial access
  • Millimeter wave communication
  • Narrowband signaling
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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