Mitigating Hand Blockage with Non-Directional Beamforming Codebooks

by   Vasanthan Raghavan, et al.

Hand blockage leads to significant performance impairments at millimeter wave carrier frequencies. A number of prior works have characterized the loss in signal strength with the hand using studies with horn antennas and form-factor user equipments (UEs). However, the impact of the hand on the effective phase response seen by the antenna elements has not been studied so far. Towards this goal, we consider a measurement framework that uses a hand phantom holding the UE in relaxed positions reflective of talk mode, watching videos, and playing games. We first study the impact of blockage on a directional beam steering codebook. The tight phase relationship across antenna elements needed to steer beams leads to a significant performance degradation as the hand surface can distort the observed amplitudes and phases across the antenna elements, which cannot be matched by this codebook. To overcome this loss, we propose a non-directional beamforming codebook made of amplitudes and/or quantized phases with both these quantities estimated as necessary. Theoretical as well as numerical studies show that the proposed codebook can de-randomize the phase distortions induced by the hand and coherently combine the energy across antenna elements and thus help in mitigating hand blockage losses.



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