Based on its strong research programs on wireless communications and radar, IMEC is now very active on joint communications and sensing which is forecast to be a key technology for 6G wireless networks. The main idea is to reuse the communications infrastructure, hardware and waveform to sense the environment like a radar.
In this MS thesis work, we take the dual – and less common - approach of reusing a radar hardware and waveform to communicate. We want to reuse the FMCW (frequency-modulated continuous waveform) waveform, also known as a chirp, to transmit information from one radar to another.
The task of the student will be to devise a chirp-based scheme to transmit information with good spectral efficiency, which is typically a weakness of chirp-based communications due to their large time-bandwidth product. The associated signal processing algorithms at the receive side (detection, channel estimation, equalization, synchronization, ...) will be part of the investigation. If time allows, sensitivity to hardware non-linearities will also be investigated.
This research is cross-disciplinary in two aspects: first, it must create bridges between communications and radar theory; second, it requires good understanding of both RF, analog baseband and digital hardware. It will involve: Literature review (10%); Modelling and DSP algorithms development (70%); Experiment and data collection (10%); Reporting and presentation (10%).
The successful candidate will have the following skills:
- knowledge of wireless communications or radars (ideally both)
- basic signal processing
- knowledge of data processing tools and programming languages, such as Matlab or Python
- Master Thesis internship (6 months)
- Preceded by optional summer internship (max 3 months)