SAM: Enabling Practical Spatial Multiple Access in Wireless LAN

  • Kun Tan ,
  • He Liu ,
  • Ji Fang ,
  • Wei Wang ,
  • Jiansong Zhang ,
  • Mi Chen ,
  • Geoffrey M. Voelker

The 15th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (ACM Mobicom2009), Beijing, China |

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Spatial multiple access holds the promise to boost the capacity of wireless networks when an access point has multiple antennas. Due to the asynchronous and uncontrolled nature of wireless LANs, conventional MIMO technology does not work efficiently when concurrent transmissions from multiple stations are uncoordinated. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of a crosslayer system, called SAM, that addresses the challenges of enabling spatial multiple access for multiple devices in a random access network like WLAN. SAM uses a chain-decoding technique to reliably recover the channel parameters for each device, and iteratively decode concurrent frames with misaligned symbol timings and frequency offsets. We propose a new MAC protocol, called CCMA, to enable concurrent transmissions by different mobile stations while remaining backward compatible with 802.11. Finally, we implement the PHY and MAC layer of SAM using the Sora high-performance software radio platform. Our evaluation results under real wireless conditions show that SAM can improve network uplink throughput by 70% with two antennas over 802.11.