MilliMirror: 3D Printed Reflecting Surface for Millimeter-Wave Coverage Expansion

Abstract

Next generation wireless networks embrace mmWave technology for its high capacity. Yet, mmWave radios bear a fundamental coverage limitation due to the high directionality and propagation artifacts. In this paper, we explore an economical paradigm based on 3D printing technology for mmWave coverage expansion. We propose MilliPoint, a fully passive metasurface, which can reshape and resteer mmWave beams to anomalous directions to illuminate the coverage blind spots. We develop a closed-form model to efficiently synthesize the MilliPoint design with thousands of unit elements and across a wide frequency band. We further develop an economical process based on 3D printing and metal deposition to fabricate MilliPoint. Our field test results show that MilliPoint can effectively fill the coverage holes and operate transparently to the standard mmWave beam management protocols.

Publication
In Proceedings of ACM MobiCom 2022