ECE Researchers win M. Barry Carlton Best Paper Award

ECE PhD graduate Bo Li (2017) and Distinguished Professor Athina Petropulu have won the 2017 M. Barry Carlton Best Paper Award for their paper “Joint Transmit Designs for Coexistence of MIMO Wireless Communications and Sparse Sensing Radars in Clutter” (Open Access), IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 53(6),7953658, pp. 2846-2864. The M. Barry Carlton Award is an annual award recognizing the best paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. To help assess impact, nominations are limited to the papers published in the calendar year four years before the award year. The award was presented at the 2021 IEEE Radar Conference Award Ceremony, on May 12, 2021.

In their paper, the authors address the ever-growing need for bandwidth that wireless devices face. By making use of spectrum that was previously reserved for radar, it is possible to share spectrum between radar and communication systems. To reap the advantages of the available spectrum, the interference between the two systems must be managed. While managing interference is a classic problem in the radar and communication community, prior to that work there had been very little work that jointly examined interference between these two different types of technologies. This paper (along with some earlier related papers by the authors) introduces a new line of research for cooperative design of the two systems that aims to control interference between radar and communication systems. The paper proposes a cooperative scheme for the coexistence of a multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) communication system and a matrix completion (MC) based, collocated MIMO (MIMOMC) radar. To facilitate the coexistence, and also deal with clutter, both the radar and the communication systems use transmit precoding. It is shown that when a random unitary waveform matrix is used the error performance of MC is guaranteed independent of the precoding matrix. The radar transmit precoder, the radar subsampling scheme, and the communication transmit covariance matrix are jointly designed in order to maximize the radar SINR, while meeting certain communication rate and power constraints. The joint design is implemented at a control center, which is a node with whom both systems share physical layer information, and which also performs data fusion for the radar. The paper provides efficient algorithms for the proposed optimization problem, along with insight on the feasibility and properties of the proposed design. Simulation results show that the proposed scheme significantly improves the spectrum sharing performance in various scenarios.

Congratulations to Bo and Athina!