SWIFT: Enabling Spectrum Coexistence of 5G mmWave and Passive Weather Sensing

Dates: 10/01/2021-09/30-2024
Award Amount: $750,000
Award #2128077

PI: Narayan Mandayam
Co-PIs: Chung-Tse Michael Wu
Ruo-Qian Wang
Joseph Brodie


The demand for increasingly higher wireless data rates in 5G and Beyond 5G (B5G) developments has led to the utilization of newer spectrum in the mmWave bands that had not been previously allocated for commercial wireless applications. Such new spectrum opportunities often come with speculation when it relates to impacting collocated or adjacent spectrum utilized for other services. Specifically, the 5G band allocated in the 26 GHz spectrum referred to as 3GPP band n258 has generated anxiety and concern in the meteorological data forecasting community including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This issue stems from 5G transmissions impacting the observations of passive sensors on weather satellites used to detect the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn affects weather forecasting and predictions. To this end, the proposed research project aims to tackle this issue by characterizing the impact of 5G transmissions on weather data measurements and prediction, and then design cross layer mitigation strategies needed to enable coexistence between 5G services and weather prediction, as well as improved weather prediction algorithms. Furthermore, undergraduate, graduate and high school students including underrepresented minority groups will be engaged and trained in the coexistence of 5G with passive sensing and weather forecasting.

The project will lead to algorithm designs, reference architectures, and testbed experiments that will provide pointers to engineering methodology for the design of spectrally and system power-efficient 5G/B5G networks that can peacefully coexist with passive weather sensors. It will also enable the development of improved weather forecasting algorithms that are cognizant of the potential impact of unintended interference. The specific research tasks entail: (i) designing improved models for characterizing the 5G impact on radiance using both simulation and analysis based approaches taking into account transmit power levels, specific sub-band occupancy, transmit modulation schemes, nonlinearity of power amplifiers, and absorption and transmission through layers of clouds and atmosphere; (ii) mapping the spatial density of 5G transmitters, and the elevation and directionality of transmissions to geospatial sensitivity to leakage; (iii) devising novel cross-layer approaches for mitigating the 5G impact on 23.8 GHz using antennas/circuit (filtenna) design and direct modulation based beam steering that is integrated with cooperative MAC and networking strategies along with power control; (iv) developing improved weather prediction algorithms that are designed to be robust to 5G leakage; and (v) experimenting on the PAWR COSMOS testbed to study adjacent channel leakage from 5G transmissions.