Lab Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces

Figure 1: Prototype reconfigurable intelligent surface operating at 2.4 GHz

Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs) are an exciting new technology for next-generation wireless networks. While the electromagnetic propagation channel is generally considered to be an immutable black box, RIS provides the ability to modify the wireless channel in a manner that is beneficial to the overlying wireless system. The working principle of an RIS is analogous to two-dimensional phased array antennas. By selectively activating unit cells, the reflected signals (from RIS unit cells) add up constructively to a certain direction, enabling beam-steering capability. In an RIS, the power and phase distribution of the reflected signals (across the surface) are unknown to the controller. As a result, the RIS state selection can be considered a problem of driving a two-dimensional (2D) phased array without any information about the power and phase of the input signals at the array elements.

DWSL research with RIS is focused on the following areas: i.) integrating the flexibility of RIS with the degrees of freedom provided by software defined radio (SDR), ii.) developing new power sensing technologies to simplify the RIS state selection problem, iii.) demonstrating how RIS can be developed out of non-traditional materials for unobtrusive integration in everyday environments, and iv.) leveraging RIS to both detect and mitigate the effects of directed energy weapon attacks.

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M. A. S. Tajin, K. Anim, K. R. Dandekar, “Incident power and relative phase distribution mapping in reconfigurable intelligent surfaces using energy harvesting”, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 2023.

K. Anim, M. A. Saleh Tajin, C. E. Amanatides, G. Dion, K. R. Dandekar, “Conductive Fabric-Based Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface”, In 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting (AP-S/URSI), pp. 1484-1485, 2022