Beyond Massive MIMO: The Potential of Positioning with Large Intelligent Surfaces

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We consider the potential for positioning with a system where antenna arrays are deployed as a large intelligent surface (LIS), which is a newly proposed concept beyond massive multi-input multi-output (MIMO) where future man-made structures are electronically active with integrated electronics and wireless communication making the entire environment "intelligent". In a first step, we derive Fisher-information matrix (FIM) and Cramer-Rao lower bound (CRLB) in closed-form for positioning a terminal located perpendicular to the center of the LIS, whose location we refer to as being on the central perpendicular line (CPL) of the LIS. For a terminal that is not on the CPL, closed-form expressions of the FIM and CRLB seem out of reach, and we alternatively find approximations which are shown to be accurate. Under mild conditions, we show that the CRLB for all three Cartesian dimensions ($x$, $y$ and $z$) decreases quadratically in the surface-area of the LIS, except for a terminal exactly on the CPL where the CRLB for the $z$-dimension (distance from the LIS) decreases linearly in the same. In a second step, we analyze the CRLB for positioning when there is an unknown phase $\varphi$ presented in the analog circuits of the LIS. We then show that the CRLBs are dramatically {\color{red}degraded} for all three dimensions but decrease in the third-order of the surface-area. Moreover, with an infinitely large LIS the CRLB for the $z$-dimension with an unknown $\varphi$ is 6 dB higher than the case without phase uncertainty, and the CRLB for estimating $\varphi$ converges to a constant that is independent of the wavelength $\lambda$. At last, we extensively discuss the impact of centralized and distributed deployments of LIS, and show that a distributed deployment of LIS can enlarge the coverage for positioning and improve the overall performance.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Communication Systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1761-1774
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number7
Early online date2018 Jan 23
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch