Low cost smart antennas for mesh networks

From WirelessAfrica

Team members

  • Albert Lysko
  • To be allocated

Notes: Collaboration with Hungarian researchers (USZ) is on the way.


Smart antenna is an antenna that is capable of adapting its properties to satisfy particular goal(s). The goals may for example include radiation pattern shaping (beamforming/beamswitching). The beamforming provides spatial (directional) selectivity and permits to enhance gain in a desired direction and also to lower the influence of a source of interference.

The capacity of a mesh network can be improved substantially if smart antennas are employed. The smartness of such antennas comes from the intelligent algorithms controlling antenna. The intelligence may include using the ability to steer the beam in order to enhance the node discovery and node self-healing. Beamforming and beam-switching antennas which are integrated with routing protocols is a new areas of research.

Replacement for Omnidirectional Antenna

The purpose of such antenna is to replace a traditional omnidirectional antenna and provide an intermediate solution to collision avoidance, and hidden and exposed terminal problems.

This antenna would have a low to intermediate gain due to practical difficulties to obtain both 360 degrees beam steering and high gain at the same time.

Antenna Capable of Long-distance Links

This antenna is to replace the high-gain traditional reflector antennas. The smartness of this antenna is in:

a. Its ability to identify direction-of-arrieval of the signal (for the set-up purposes), b. Keeping track of a remote node in real time to compensate for wind/temperature, c. Adapting the beamwidth and transmitter power level (in addition to b.)