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Pushing the Limits of Localization and Capacity in Today's Wi-Fi Networks

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Wireless networks are ubiquitous and play an important role in our everyday life but two notable grand challenges remain to be solved. Firstly, while we have GPS in the outdoor environment, indoor localization at a sub-meter granularity remains challenging due to a number of factors, including the presence of strong wireless reflections indoors and the burden of deploying and maintaining any additional location service infrastructure. Secondly, wireless congestion remains an issue during times of peak load. The latest 802.11ac standard offers a gigabit theoretical transmission rate, but still lags far behind wired transmission rates, which can be up to terabits per second. One recent trend of dramatically increasing numbers of antennas at the indoor access point, mainly to bolster capacity, brings us unique opportunities to address both above challenges. In this talk, I will discuss two systems I have built that leverage this opportunity. The first, ArrayTrack, is an indoor location system that employs angle-of-arrival (AoA) techniques to track wireless clients at a very fine granularity in real time. ArrayTrack is the first localization system hosted on Wi-Fi infrastructure to achieve accuracy below 50 cm via a novel reflection-path identification scheme. The second system, MIDAS , is an approach based on distributed antenna deployment that significantly increases the throughput performance of the latest 802.11ac networks and at the same time, mitigates the well-known hidden terminal issue.

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