US 20060084444 A1
The present invention provides methods and apparatuses for utilizing unused portions of an allocated frequency spectrum in a wireless communications system that broadcasts content to wireless stations. A first wireless station may communicate with a second wireless station on an idle broadcast channel while keeping the resulting interference level below an acceptable maximum limit at the other wireless stations. Using interference level information that are measured at the wireless stations, the wireless station can negotiate with the other wireless station on an establishment channel for subsequent communications on one or more broadcast channels. The wireless station may receive broadcast content on a time slice that corresponds to a broadcast channel and that is further processed by the wireless station. Otherwise, the wireless station can utilize the corresponding time to measure an interference level for the corresponding channel or to transmit or receive data to/from another wireless station.
1. A method for supporting data networking in a broadcast system, comprising:
(A) determining, by a first wireless station, a plurality of broadcast channels associated with the broadcast system;
(B) obtaining a received set of associated interference levels, each associated interference level corresponding to an associated broadcast channel of the plurality of broadcast channels, each said associated interference level being measured by a second wireless station;
(C) determining a transmit power level, by the first wireless station, to send data to the second wireless station;
(D) selecting one of the plurality of broadcast channels; and
(E) sending the data between the second wireless station and the first wireless station over said one of the plurality of broadcast channels with the transmit power level.
2. The method of
(F) establishing a connection on a second of the plurality of broadcast channels; and
(G) in response to (F), determining said one of the plurality of broadcast channels.
3. The method of
(i) increasing a corresponding transmit power level on the second of the plurality of broadcast channels.
4. The method of
(ii) repeating (i) until a maximum transmit power level is reached.
5. The method of
(ii) repeating (i) until a response is received from another wireless station.
6. The method of
7. The method of
(F) selecting another of the plurality of broadcast channels; and
(G) sending the data between the second wireless station and the first wireless channel over the other of the plurality of broadcast channels in conjunction with said one of the plurality of plurality of broadcast channels.
8. The method of
9. The method of
10. The method of
(F) receiving, by the first wireless station, a broadcast service on a current channel, wherein the current channel is contained in the plurality of broadcast channels.
11. The method of
(i) determining a distance between the first wireless station and the second wireless station; and
(ii) adjusting the transmit power level to compensate from a propagation loss incurred by a signal conveying the data.
12. The method of
(i) determining a transmit level of a signal from the second wireless station;
(ii) measuring, by the first wireless station, a received signal level of the signal; and
(iii) subtracting the received signal level from the transmit level to obtain a propagation loss.
13. The method of
(i) ascertaining that a transmitted signal does not result in a projected interference level from exceeding a maximum level.
14. The method of
(F) determining whether a received broadcast channel is being utilized by the broadcast system and consequently designating the received broadcast channel as being active; and
(G) if the received broadcast channel is active, not utilizing the broadcast channel for ad hoc data networking.
15. The method of
(i) determining an occurrence of a transmission parameter signaling (TPS) information on the received broadcast channel.
16. The method of
(i) analyzing a received network information table (NIT).
17. The method of
(F) analyzing a frequency spectrum of the plurality of broadcast channels.
18. The method of
(i) including the data in a time slice transmission.
19. The method of
20. The method of
(i) accessing the received set of associated interference levels from a database.
21. The method of
(i) receiving the received set of associated interference levels from the second wireless station.
22. The method of
(ii) increasing a corresponding transmit power level on an establishment channel, wherein the first wireless station receives the received set of associated interference levels from the second wireless station on the establishment channel.
23. The method of
(iii) repeating (ii) until a maximum transmit power level is reached.
24. The method of
(iii) repeating (ii) until a response is received from the second wireless station.
25. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in
26. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in
27. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in
28. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in
29. A transceiver that supports data networking in a broadcast system, comprising:
a receiver that receives a plurality of broadcast channels;
a transmitter that transmits a signal on a first broadcast channel at a determined transmit level, wherein the signal contains data, wherein the signal does not cause a projected interference level at another transceiver to exceed a threshold, and wherein the first broadcast channel is not used by the broadcast system to support a broadcast service; and
an interference measurement module that determines a corresponding interference level for each of the plurality of broadcast channels, the corresponding interference level being measured at the transceiver.
30. The transceiver of
a processor that processes the second broadcast channel to obtain broadcast content.
31. The transceiver of
a display that renders received data.
32. The transceiver of
a database that stores the corresponding interference levels.
33. The transceiver of
a processor that accesses the database to access the corresponding interference levels and that sends a signal to another transceiver on one of the plurality of broadcast channels, the signal conveying the corresponding interference levels.
34. The transceiver of
a processor that utilizes the associated interference levels to determine whether the projected interference level at the other transceiver exceeds the threshold.
35. The transceiver of
36. The transceiver of
another receiver that receives a radio channel that is different from the plurality of broadcast channels.
37. The transceiver of
a processor that utilizes the associated interference levels to determine whether the projected interference level at the other transceiver exceeds the threshold.
38. A method for enabling a plurality of secondary wireless stations to communicate with each other in a communications system that serves at least one primary wireless station, the communications system being allocated an allowed frequency spectrum, comprising:
(A) negotiating, by a first wireless station with a measurement station, further communication with a second wireless station;
(B) if permitted by the measurement station, establishing, by the first wireless station, a connection with the second wireless station; and
(C) communicating with the second wireless station on a portion of the allowed frequency spectrum.
39. The method of
(i) utilizing a different frequency spectrum to communicate with the measurement station, wherein the different frequency spectrum is different from the allocated frequency spectrum.
40. A method for supporting data networking in a digital video broadcasting (DVB) system, a plurality of broadcast channels being associated with the DVB system, comprising:
(A) receiving, by the first wireless station, a broadcast service on specified broadcast channel;
(B) determining, by the first wireless station, a measured set of corresponding interference levels, each said corresponding interference level corresponding to a corresponding broadcast channel of the plurality of broadcast channels, each said corresponding interference level being measured by the first wireless channel;
(C) obtaining a received set of associated interference levels corresponding to the plurality of broadcast channels, each said associated interference level being measured by the second wireless station;
(D) selecting, by the first wireless channel, one of the plurality of broadcast channels, wherein a first projected interference level at the second wireless station does not exceed a predetermined threshold on said one of the plurality of broadcast channels;
(E) establishing a communications connection between the first wireless station and the second wireless station on said one of the plurality of broadcast channels;
(F) in response to (E), selecting a second of the plurality of broadcast channels, wherein a second projected interference level does not exceed the predetermined threshold; and
(H) sending data from the first wireless station to the second wireless station on said second of the plurality of broadcast channels.
41. A method for enabling a plurality of secondary wireless stations to communicate with each other in a communications system that serves at least one primary wireless station, comprising:
(A) measuring an available frequency spectrum by a first wireless station;
(B) negotiating a portion of the available frequency spectrum with a second wireless station;
(C) determining a transmit power level based on a margin level and locations of the first and second wireless stations, the margin level based on a monitored signal level and an interference temperature threshold; and
(D) transmitting a signal to the second wireless station at the transmit power level on the portion of frequency spectrum.
42. A method for enabling a plurality of secondary wireless stations to communicate with each other in communications system that serves at least one primary wireless station, the communications system being allocated a frequency spectrum, the method comprising:
(A) obtaining interference level measurements for the plurality of secondary wireless stations, each interference level measurement being associated with a corresponding secondary wireless station on a corresponding channel, the corresponding channel contained in the frequency spectrum;
(B) receiving a request from a first secondary wireless station to establish a communications connection with a second secondary wireless station;
(C) selecting a selected channel within the frequency spectrum;
(D) determining a first transmit power level for the first secondary wireless device, wherein a projected interference level at each of the plurality of secondary wireless devices is below an maximum acceptable level; and
(E) providing channel information and transmit power level information to the first secondary wireless device.
This invention relates to utilizing frequency spectrum for ad hoc networking when frequency spectrum is not being utilized for broadcast services.
Radio frequency (RF) spectrum is a valuable resource, in which different communication services vie for the frequency spectrum. Typically, frequency spectrum is not shared by different communication services. In other words, if frequency spectrum is allocated to a communication service, other communication services are not allowed to utilize the frequency spectrum even if the allocated communication service is not currently using the frequency spectrum.
There are a plethora of wideband services that are gaining popularity and consequently are demanding greater usage of radio frequency spectrum. For example, video streaming, data streaming, and broadband digital broadcast programming are increasing in popularity in wireless network applications, e.g., Internet protocol (IP) multicast services. To support these wireless applications, wireless broadcast systems transmit data content that support data services to many wireless terminals simultaneously. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) system is one example of a wireless broadcast system. A DVB system may support different video services including MPEG-2 multi-media services. A DVB system typically includes multiple cell transmitters (up to hundreds) that provide RF coverage for each cell.
What are needed are systems and methods that facilitate the usage of an allocated frequency spectrum when the frequency spectrum is not being utilized by an associated service with adversely affecting the associated service.
An aspect of the present invention provides methods and apparatuses for utilizing unused portions of an allocated frequency spectrum in a wireless communications system that broadcasts content to wireless stations. A first wireless station communicates with a second wireless station on an idle broadcast channel while keeping the resulting interference level below an acceptable maximum limit at the wireless stations.
With another aspect of the invention, wireless stations may allocate one of the idle channels as an establishment channel. When a wireless station desires to communicate with another wireless station, the wireless station may negotiate with another wireless station for subsequent communications on one or more channels.
With another aspect of the invention, a database is supported that contains channel status information. The database includes entries for wireless stations within an ad hoc network, in which each entry includes a channel number, channel status, and corresponding interference measurement. The database may be centrally located within the ad hoc network or may be maintained at each wireless station.
With another aspect of the invention, a transceiver includes a DVB-T/H receiver to receive IP packets that include broadcast content. Additionally, the transceiver may transmit and receive IP packets to other transceivers using frequency spectrum that is unused for broadcasting. The transceiver measures interference levels on broadcast channels to determine whether the corresponding broadcast channel may be used to transmit IP packets.
With another aspect of the invention, a communications system is allocated frequency spectrum to support a service for primary wireless stations. Secondary wireless stations determine if interference levels, as measured by the secondary wireless stations, is below a threshold level. If so, a secondary wireless station may send data to another secondary wireless station in an ad hoc data network.
With another aspect of the invention, a measuring station is deployed within a region of an ad hoc data network. A communications system, which is allocated a frequency spectrum, provides a service to wireless stations within the region. The measuring station gathers measured interference levels at wireless stations in order to configure a database with status information for the channels contained in the frequency spectrum. If a wireless stations desires to communicate with another wireless station within the region, the wireless station negotiates with the measuring station for channel and transmit level information.
With another embodiment of the invention, a wireless station receives broadcast content on a time slice that corresponds to a broadcast channel. If the broadcast signal is sending a time slice containing content that the wireless station is not processing, the wireless station may utilize the corresponding time to measure an interference level for the corresponding channel or to transmit or receive data to/from another wireless station.
A more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description in consideration of the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features and wherein:
In the following description of the various embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration various embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural and functional modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.
DVB-H system 100 supports Internet Protocol (IP) based data services in which the information may be transmitted as IP datagrams. DVB-H system 100 incorporates enhancements (with respect to a DVB-T system) that facilitates access to IP based DVB services on wireless handheld wireless terminals. (Alternative embodiments of the invention support variations of digital video broadcast systems including DVB-T, ATSC, and ISDB-T.) The DVB-H enhancements are based on the physical layer of the DVB-T physical layer with a number of service layer enhancements aimed at improving battery life and reception in the handheld environment. Thus, the DVB-H enhancements compliment existing digital terrestrial services, offering service providers the possibility to extend the market to the wireless handheld market.
DVB-H system 100 may support time slicing transmission and handovers in order to reduce power consumption for small wireless handheld terminals. With time slicing, a cell transmitter transmits IP datagrams as data bursts in small time slots to wireless handheld terminals. (The benefits of time slicing are also applicable to other types of wireless terminals.) Consequently, the front end of a wireless terminal switches on only for small time intervals when the data bursts of the selected service are being transmitted by DVB-H system 100. Within the short period of time, data is received at a high data rate and stored in a buffer at a wireless terminal. The buffer can either store the downloaded application or continuously play live streams where the outgoing data rate depends on the application. The achievable power saving depends on the relation of the on/off time. In an embodiment of the invention, if there are approximately ten or more bursted services in a DVB-H stream, for example, the power savings consumed by the front end may be approximately 90%.
A Network Information Table (NIT) is transmitted by DVB-H system 100 and describes how transport streams are organized on the current network, and also describes some of the physical properties of the network itself. The NIT also contains the name of the network, and the network ID. This is a value that uniquely identifies the network that is currently broadcasting the transport stream, and may be different from the original network ID if the transport stream is being rebroadcast.
DVB-H system 100 may also transmit transmission parameter signaling (TPS) that conveys information regarding modulation including the a value of the QAM constellation pattern, hierarchy information, guard interval, inner code rates, transmission mode (2K, 4K, or 8K), frame number in a super-frame, and cell identification.
In order to mitigate the loss of data packets, data streams 201, 203, 205, and 207 are mapped by the serving base stations into channel bursts 209, 211, 213, and 215, respectively, in which channel bursts are transmitted over radio channels rather than data streams 201, 203, 205, and 207. Each data stream (201, 203, 205, and 207), and consequently each channel burst (209, 211, 213, and 215), supports at least one data service. Thus, each channel burst may support a plurality of data services (e.g. a group of related data services). For example, in the example shown in
Data rates associated with channel bursts 209, 211, 213, and 215 are typically greater than data rates that are associated with data streams 201, 203, 205, and 207 so that a corresponding number of data packets can be sent in a shorter amount of time. In the embodiment, data streams 201, 203, 205, and 207 correspond to continuous data rates of approximately 100 Kbit/sec. Channel bursts 209, 211, 213, and 215 correspond to approximately 4 Mbit/sec with an approximate one second duration. However, other embodiments may use different data rates for data streams 201-207 and for channel bursts 209-215.
Channel bursts 209, 211, 213, and 215 may be formatted by using a multi-protocol encapsulation in accordance with Section 7 of European Standard EN 301197 “Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), DVB specification for data broadcasting.” The encapsulation may conform to Internet Protocol (IP) standards.
DVB transmitter 301 is coupled to antenna 329, and DVB receiver 303 is coupled to antenna 331. In embodiments of the invention, antennas 329 and 331 may be physically the same antenna, where the DVB transceiver uses an antenna interface such as a directional coupler or a duplexer. Modem 317 is coupled to antenna 333. In embodiments of the invention, a wideband antenna may support the functionalities of antennas 329, 331, and 333.
Controller 305 processes the data received by DVB receiver 303 and transmitted by DVB transmitter 301 on the time slice channels. Additionally, controller determines interference levels, as measured by interference measurement module 335, on each of the received time slice channels to determine whether the corresponding time slice channel is being used for broadcasting or may be used for ad hoc networking. (One approach of measuring the interference level is to determine a corresponding interference temperature as will be discussed with
Channel status database 307 includes channel status information 311 (e.g., table 1400 as shown in
User interface 321 comprises a user output portion 323, which supports the rendering of received broadcasted content, and user input portion 325, which enables a user to select programming that is supported by DVB transmitter 105 (as shown in
In the embodiment shown in
Signal strength measurement module 413 measures an interference level on each time slice channel. Processor 401 determines if the interference level is sufficiently small to deem that the corresponding time slice channel is not being used (i.e., idle). Transceiver 400 may share information about the measured interference levels with other transceivers. (A transceiver may share this information by communicating on a designated time slice channel that is referred as a channel establishment channel as discussed with
A DVB receiver (e.g., DVB-T/H receiver 303 as shown in
Ad hoc network 500 is a collection of nodes that form a temporary network without any centralized authority. There is no existing infrastructure. Network 500 rearranges itself as the nodes move around or enter or leave the network. Ad hoc networking has been a subject of great interests within academia during last decades. Recently, ad hoc networking has also been considered as a very attractive technology in creating new opportunities for both communications industry and the mobile end users. New business potential can be found in terminal manufacturing, software engineering and an infrastructure that interconnects ad hoc networks. Potential examples of commercial applications are related to teenager and other group networking, home networking and Internet access, authentication applications, and home networking.
The transmitter of a wireless station (e.g., station 501 as shown in
The bandwidth used for interference temperature measurement may be a parameter that can be chosen or that is predefined. For DVB-T/H the bandwidth can be 5, 6, 7, or 8 MHz.
The received noise power for each frequency band df can be calculated as follows:
The Federal Communications Commission's understanding of future spectrum access is based on real-time adaptation based on the actual RF environment through interactions between transmitters and receivers rather than currently applied model where access to spectrum is based on transmitter operations. The general idea of the Federal Communications Commission's interference temperature concept is that receiver is able to select and receive a particular signal that determines whether the signal has been degraded by interference. In fact, the receiver operates at the environment where the undesired RF energy is cumulatively summed into receiver's antenna. Therefore, interference temperature measurements should be performed at various receiver locations to estimate the real-time condition of RF environment. The confidence level of the estimate depends on such factors as transmitter signal ranges, uniformity, of signal levels over an area, the density of temperature measuring devices, and the sharing of the data taken by nearby devices, e.g., through ad hoc cooperative wireless networks. In an embodiment of the invention, there is a real-time database of antenna temperature levels of different devices. Each device may query the database (formed by neighboring devices) whether or not the devices use the frequency spectrum for transmission.
The concept of interference temperature defines the maximum permissible levels of interference by utilizing interference temperature or antenna temperature metric. This characterizes the “worst case” environment in which the receiver is expected to operate. In addition, different threshold levels or maximum interference temperatures could be set for each band, geographic region, or service. It is important to ensure that communication is flawless in bands that are used by security and rescue authorities or aviation radio systems. A possible thread for Public Safety bands is that a wide band radio system, such as ultra wideband (UWB), operates at moderate power levels and thus can be considered as a “local” interference source. However, even the slightest interference can be detrimental. Therefore, within these bands, the interference temperature should be set near the licensed system's noise floor.
The mechanism of measuring interference temperature must be considered. The Federal Communications Commission's SPTF suggests the following method for sensing interference temperature:
Considering the possibility that licensed bands can be utilized for licensed mobile communication during the time between a B-device measuring the interference temperature and a decision to use the band by the device, transmission must be kept as short as possible. The interference temperature measurement is a snapshot of a current situation, and consequently the situation may vary in time. In addition, we must assume that a B-device's time for transmission is short and within that time period there will be no new A-devices causing interference. This means that a B-device must transmit short bursts or perhaps impulses as an impulse radio would transmit. We must define the update interval for spectrum access for the B-device or update the interference temperature measurement results before each transmission burst.
We must also consider situations in which users are relatively far from their transmitting base stations and relatively near to an interference source. In such situations, an interference source radiates power at a “victim's” bandwidth, which is coupled into the “victim” receiver's intermediate frequency or baseband filter. The source of the interfering power may originate from near or far adjacent channel interference, strong out-of-band emission, transmitter-generated intermodulation interference, or high-level far out-of-band signals that generate intermodulation interference. The source of interference can be either a base station or a portable device.
There are two types of locations where interference becomes more likely. The most common is when a subscriber's transceiver is far from its associated base station and near to the interfering source. In this case, the loss experienced by subscriber's transceiver for desired signal is greater than the loss of undesired signal emitted by the interfering source. Therefore, interference may occur even though interfering signal is not a co-channel with the desired signal. The second example illustrates a situation where subscriber's transceiver is at the edge of the service area and its automatic power control adjusts the transmission power to its maximum permissible level. This may occur in tandem with a low-level desired signal, where the subscriber's or “victim's” transceiver is relatively far from its associated base station causing interference.
Another situation may occur when an interfering signal is being used by an interfering subscriber near the desired base receiver at the same time as the subscriber. In this case, “victim” receiver is trying to communicate on the reverse link. This situation results in interference at the base receiver, where the interfering signal degrades the reception of the desired signal.
A “hidden terminal” problem describes a problematic area of such a scenario, in which we have secondary wireless stations operating at a licensed, primary user's band. Presumably, a primary wireless station is in the idle mode, i.e., not transmitting or receiving a signal. However, a secondary wireless station may be transmitting near the primary wireless station. If the primary wireless station transmits at the same band, a collision may occur. Therefore, a secondary wireless station should detect when a “hidden” primary wireless station becomes a “visible” wireless station.
A secondary user must detect the usage of primary bands. The secondary user's transmission should be bursty in order to update the status of the band with a sufficient duty cycle. The detection may be based on either a spectrum analyzer, which is built into the terminal, or the status can be polled from the network that monitors the usage of the band.
The user quality may be become problematic due to the fact that the secondary transmission must be stopped if a primary wireless station appears on that band. The secondary wireless station may have to hold back its transmission for an unknown amount of time due to scanning of free bands that could be utilized to continue the interrupted transmission. From the end-user's point of view, this is not feasible option. However, end-users are willing to accept the poorer user quality only if the usage or service costs are minimal.
There are many technical challenges regarding the measurement of interference that is experienced by a primary user's receiver using monitoring receivers that may have different technical characteristics than the primary user's receiver. If monitoring network sensors are at ground level but the primary user's receiver is elevated (e.g., a base station tower or mobile subscriber in a multistory building) the propagation loss between the interferer and an elevated user may be different than the loss between two ground-level users. In this case, the monitored and reported interference temperature may differ from the actual interference temperature observed by primary user's receiver. This may be addressed by assuming worst-case propagation environment in the sense of interference temperature. Also, we should consider range estimation between a mobile secondary user (interferer) and a primary user. In this case, all primary mobile transceivers should report their location to the monitoring network and all possible secondary transceivers in the geographic area in real-time. At best, the sensor network would only have access to the transmission of the primary user because the primary user typically utilizes different transmit and receive frequencies.
An adequate representation of antenna temperature is achieved only if the primary user's antenna and the interference temperature measuring device's antenna have a similar antenna gain. Considering that a primary user has more directional or higher gain receive antenna, including smart antenna configurations where the beamform is steerable, the interference temperature that the primary user experiences would be lower than the level measured by the monitor in receiver in some directions, while higher than expected when hot spots fall within the user's beamwidth. This type of scenarios should be taken into consideration when defining the interference temperature cap between physical noise floor and “man-made” noise floor. The cap should appropriately capture the worst-case operating environment.
Another challenge regarding the interference temperature definition is the problem, when primary user's receiver and secondary user's receiver (i.e., monitoring receivers operate at different bandwidths). A primary user may operate in a narrowband network (e.g., 25 kHz), and the secondary user may operate at wideband network monitoring interference temperature at 5 MHz bandwidth. In this case, there is 23 dB-difference in sensitivity between these two bandwidths. Assuming that there are spurious or colored noise sources that are contributing to the interference temperature (in dBm/Hz), this would be averaged and reported over the bandwidth of the sensor according to a 5 MHz bandwidth. The interference temperature would be somewhat lower in most of the band than a reported, average, interference temperature. If a particular channel contains spurious sources, the actual interference temperature would be worse than the reported, average, interference temperature. Assuming that interference temperature cap represents the worst-case operating environment, the impact of bandwidth disparities should be accounted.
Additional problems would rise if a secondary user transmits in non-stationary manner such as transmit beam forming or frequency hopping with pseudo-random pattern. These techniques add considerable variation to the noise floor yielding difficulties to predict, detect, and enforce an interference temperature cap. In addition, sudden changes can be encountered by the primary user if a secondary user moves in and out of shadowed areas. The challenge is how to manage with time delays introduced by a monitoring network to detect whether the interference has exceeded the cap. The secondary user consequently adjusts its transmitting power so that the interference temperature at the primary user's location is returned to permissible level.
Measurement of interference temperature faces the spatial, temporal, and frequency resolution challenges in a non-homogenous environment. In order to ensure the compliance with interference temperature cap and to achieve finer resolution, the channel bandwidths or antenna beamwidths should be set to minimum. However, the sweep times for monitoring process increases due to the increased number of observation points (both frequency and azimuth sweeps) and addresses another resolution problem: the duty cycle between interference measurements at any frequency or azimuth angle. This increases the likelihood that maximum actual interference temperature values are not captured in a time-varying environment such as systems utilizing packet data, beamforming or frequency hopping.
The estimation of the impact of secondary users operating in a primary user's band is a challenging task and difficult to assess by either the secondary user or a third-party monitoring network. The difficulty is the estimation of the interference temperature experienced by a primary user. The channel path loss between primary and secondary users should be estimated by utilizing insufficient channel information. The distance between primary and secondary users should be estimated. The estimation channel path loss may be estimated by utilizing worst-case scenario, i.e., assuming free path loss propagation conditions between primary and secondary users. In any case, the impact on the primary user due to the operation of secondary user sharing the same band should be minimized regarding to system deployment, coverage area, information throughput, signal quality, and radio architecture complexity.
Assuming that devices are capable of measuring the available spectrum, an embodiment of the invention has spectrum analyzers implemented in the receiver. Secondary transceivers 1201 and 1203 operate in an ad hoc manner, establishing direct link between two secondary transceivers operating at primary user's band (corresponding to primary users 1205, 1207, 1209, and 1211). First, both secondary transceivers 1201 and 1203 measure the available band for transmission. Second, secondary transceivers 1201 and 1203 negotiate with a common negotiation channel. The band that is required for transmission depends on the application and whether secondary devices 1201 and 1203 are able to reserve the amount of bandwidth that the application requires. If both secondary devices 1201 and 1203 agree that there is enough bandwidth available for transmission, transmitting secondary device 1201 or 1203 starts transmission. Otherwise, transmission is not started, and the devices return back to idle mode and sweep through the frequency range whether or not there would be a window of opportunity to transmit. If there is enough bandwidth available, transmission appears to be possible. The next step is to calculate the margin between the monitored signal level and interference temperature threshold. The transmission power is determined based on this margin. By exchanging location information by utilizing a common negotiation channel, the locations of secondary transceivers are known and the range between these two secondary transceivers is known. If the required distance is longer than the range that could be covered by utilizing the calculated maximum permissible transmission power and free-space propagation assumption, the communication fails. The schematic description of this scenario is shown in
A common negotiation channel is needed in this scenario for negotiation purposes. The channel is commonly agreed in every device that utilizes interference temperature. The common negotiation channel could be reserved separately for this purpose and regulated, e.g., in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission. For example, the Federal Communications Commission has defined three different regulation models: command-and-control, exclusive use, and an open access. However, other models may be devised. In an embodiment of the invention, a “semi-commons” model controls ad hoc activity with a regulated common negotiation channel. Alternatively, a common negotiation channel may be one of the unlicensed bands requiring minimal extra regulation. However, interference protection in the common negotiation channel is important for flawless communication between secondary devices. The common negotiation channel does not have to be wideband. Narrow bandwidth is well suited for hand-shaking purposes.
As shown in
The severity of “hidden terminal problem” may not be overcome if the primary user's quality is assumed not to degrade. By allowing some interference, for example a call drop ratio to exceeding 1% target, the “hidden terminal problem” is not so severe because secondary user's device has a duty cycle to perform the spectrum measurements. If a secondary device detects a primary user activity, it stops transmission and continues after primary user has stopped its transmission.
The duty cycle for spectrum analyzing should be kept short and therefore requires constant monitoring for the availability of the spectrum. This requires computing power, which requires extra power from battery yielding shorter battery lifetimes. This may be tolerable if battery consumption is not the primary concern but handheld applications such as mobile terminals are sensitive to battery consumption. The improvements in the amount of energy that can be stored in a battery cell may not offset the demand of power consumption in mobile terminals. Mobile terminals need more power for the development of multi-radio terminals, where we have several radio systems integrated into a single mobile terminal. In addition, graphics and software support increases mobile terminal demands for more power from the battery. Therefore, it may not be feasible to add any additional features in the mobile terminal, which might be power consuming. The duty cycle for spectrum analyzing should be optimized in the sense of energy consumption.
Discarding the spectrum analyzer from the terminal, we do not have the luxury of estimating the RF environment at the receiver. This yields more cost-efficient manufacturing of the terminals but increases the complexity of the network design. A system, as shown in
There are several drawbacks for this approach. First, the sensing network may be expensive to build including expensive spectrum analyzers together with sophisticated controlling software. Second, the network should be able to detect the dynamics of the primary users (e.g., primary user 1307) in order to support mobility, including the estimation of velocity and direction of the primary user. This information must be transmitted to the secondary user 1309 with sufficient update interval. Then, what is the sufficient update interval? The update interval should be fast enough in order to react on sudden changes in primary user's network. These sudden changes could include the problem of hidden terminal. If primary user terminal 1307 suddenly starts to transmit, the sensing network should detect primary terminal 1307 and send stop transmission signal to secondary user 1309 that may transmit at the same time. In addition, the secondary user transceiver 1309 should listen to the common negotiation channel for a stop transmission signal. Even this won't totally solve the problem of a hidden terminal and, among other drawbacks, this approach could not be considered as feasible solution as an implementation of interference temperature concept. Third, sensing network should be dense in order to sense the local variations in frequency usage and to report locally to the systems utilizing interference temperature concept about the possibility to access spectrum. For low-power short range systems, this means that sensing stations can be found in every corner due to the fact that when moving around the corner the received power levels may have decreased, making spectrum access possible for devices utilizing interference temperature.
The emerging DVB-H standard is based on DVB-T, but targeted for handheld devices. New important features include MPE-FEC and time slicing. Time slicing decreases power consumption in terminal and makes handovers possible. However, the time slicing off-periods could also be utilized for other purposes, such as interference temperature measurements and ad hoc networking between terminals equipped with DVB-H transceivers.
The wireless station may measure the interference level for a broadcast channel a plurality of times separated in time in order to obtain an estimate with a desired degree of confidence. The interference measurement (which may correspond to an interference temperature) is stored as measurement 1405 with corresponding broadcast channel number 1401. Based on measurement 1405 (e.g., if less than 20), the wireless station determines whether the broadcast channel is “idle” or not. If the broadcast channel is being used for broadcasting content, the channel is designated as “active”. Moreover, if the wireless station is receiving content on the associated broadcast channel, the broadcast channel is designated as “current”.
Broadcast channels that are identified transmitting DVB-T/H signals are marked as “active”. If the received signal is strong enough (i.e., the measured interference temperature is above a predetermined limit), there is no need to analyze from where the received signal originates. The receiver may continue scanning of the channels. In some embodiments of the invention, “active” channels may be skipped in the next scan or for a predetermined time.
In the embodiment, the lowest idle channel is designated as the primary establishment channel. The establishment channel is used by wireless stations to establish ad hoc connections as will be explained. In the embodiment shown in
The concept of interference temperature, which is a step towards cognitive radios, defines the maximum permissible levels of interference by utilizing an interference temperature or antenna temperature metric. This characterizes the “worst case” environment in which the receiver is expected to operate. In addition, different threshold levels or maximum interference temperatures may be set for each band, geographic region or service. This is an important feature of the concept. Interference temperature measurements should be taken place at various receiver locations to estimate the real-time condition of RF environment. The confidence level of this estimate depends on such factors as transmitter signal ranges, uniformity, of signal levels over an area, the density of temperature measuring devices, and the sharing of the data taken by nearby devices; e.g., through ad hoc cooperative wireless networks. This means that there exists a real-time database of antenna temperature levels of different devices. Each device could then make a query from the database (formed by neighboring devices) whether or not they could use certain band for transmission.
A substantial portion of frequency spectrum may be allocated for broadcast services (e.g. DVB-T/H). However, the entire allocated frequency spectrum may not be fully locally occupied for the broadcast traffic. Broadcast channels that are not used for broadcast transmissions (or any other transmission) may be temporary and locally allocated for communication (e.g., ad hoc networking) between cognitive DVB-H transceivers.
The interference temperature concept may be used to define whether the DVB-T/H channel is occupied or not. If a free DVB-T/H channel is found (i.e., neither DVB transmissions nor other interference sources detected), the broadcast channel may be used for communication (e.g., IP data transmission) between wireless stations. If terminal is already using the DVB-H receiver (i.e., receiving time sliced broadcast data), the wireless station is still capable of performing interference temperature measurements and communicating during the time slicing off-periods.
A wireless station (e.g., transceiver 400 and 500) comprises a DVB-H receiver and transmitter (low power) and is used for the communication and sensing the environment so that interference is not caused for other DVB-H receivers. If terminal is receiving time sliced broadcast data, the following steps can be performed during time slice off-periods. Otherwise, the DVB-H transceiver can be fully occupied for ad hoc networking.
Before ad hoc networking can be established, DVB-H receiver must scan unoccupied DVB-T/H channels during a scan procedure. During the scan process, interference measurements are performed by measuring the DVB-H receiver's antenna or equally interference temperature and results maintained (
A channel with the lowest available channel (status “idle”: primary_establishment_channel or secondary_establishment_channel) is used for establish the communication channel between wireless stations during an establishment procedure. The information is transmitted and received in the channel. The information is carried as a payload of IP packets. The method to transmit IP packets over DVB-T/H channel is described in the standards. Terminal A and terminal B send messages in the establishment channel. The maximum transmission power may be based on interference measurement results. If a collision occurs, a random delay timer is set to delay the transmission. When the terminals have agreed on the channel to be used as communication channel, the terminals are tuned to the communication channel.
Wireless stations can now start to communicate during a communication procedure. The communication can be based on RTS/CTS/DATA/ACK handshaking (e.g. WLAN). When the data (corresponding to a file) is sent or connection terminated by the terminal, terminal can start a new scan procedure or listen to the establishment channel. Wireless stations must also scan the DVB-T channels during the communication state to ensure that terminals do not interfere with other terminals or systems. Also, wireless stations may tune to another broadcast channel if needed.
In the embodiment, database 1500 comprises interference levels measured on each of the broadcast channels for each of the wireless stations in the ad hoc network. In the exemplary embodiment shown in
In step 1701, the wireless station determines which broadcast channel is designated as the establishment channel. If the presently received channel does not correspond to the establishment channel, the wireless station waits until the received channel corresponds to the establishment channel in step 1703. In steps 1705 and 1707, the wireless station transmits a signal at a minimum power level, providing measured interference levels (corresponding to information 1400 as shown in
In step 1709, if the wireless station receives a response (e.g., corresponding measured interference levels from another wireless station), the wireless station updates its database (e.g., database 1500) in step 1711. In step 1713, if the maximum transmit power level is exceeded, procedure 1700 is terminated in step 1715. Otherwise, the wireless station increases the transit power in step 1721 if the projected interference level at all known wireless stations in the ad hoc network does not exceed a maximum acceptable interference level as determined by step 1717. For example, wireless station 1601 increases it transmit power level to communicate with station 1605 as shown in
In the embodiment shown in
If step 1807 determines to send database information, the central database sends database information that contains interference levels as measured by the participating wireless stations in the ad hoc network in step 1809. If the central database does send not database information in the establishment channel at the current time (corresponding to a time slice, e.g., channel burst 211 as shown in
In another embodiment of the invention, the central database may utilize a spectrum analyzer (not shown but similar to what was previously described for measurement station 1301 in
If step 1907 determines that the broadcast channel contains DVB content to be processed by the wireless station, the wireless station processes the time slice in the broadcast channel in step 1909. Once a broadcast channel is processed, the wireless station waits for the next broadcast channel in step 1911.
In the embodiment of the invention, when the wireless station establishes the connection on the establishment channel with another wireless station, channel negotiation is executed in step 2007 in order to select a broadcast channel to communicate data between the wireless stations. In an embodiment of the invention, the wireless station may establish a connection on the establishment channel with a central database (e.g., measurement station 1301 as shown in
When the wireless station determines that the broadcast channel is the selected broadcast channel, the wireless station determines the transmit power level in procedure 2013 (corresponding to procedure 2100). In step 2015, the wireless station accesses database 1500 to determine whether the projected interference level at any of the known wireless stations in the ad hoc network does not exceed a maximum acceptable level. If so, the wireless station transmits data in step 2017 on the selected broadcast channel to the other wireless station. If not successful, the wireless station aborts the procedure and may retry in a subsequent time slice.
As can be appreciated by one skilled in the art, a computer system with an associated computer-readable medium containing instructions for controlling the computer system can be utilized to implement the exemplary embodiments that are disclosed herein. The computer system may include at least one computer such as a microprocessor, digital signal processor, and associated peripheral electronic circuitry.
While the invention has been described with respect to specific examples including presently preferred modes of carrying out the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are numerous variations and permutations of the above described systems and techniques that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.