Research in the ASIP Department spans from fundamental research in signal processing and communications to applied research in digital transmission, centralized and de-centralized multiantenna architectures, and prototype implementations. The field of application is mainly wireless and powerline transceivers, space communications and wireless sensor networks. Activities are centered around the following research lines:

  • Post-OFDM filterbank multicarrier (FBMC) modulations for 5G wireless communications: Given the exponential increase in bandwidth demand for multimedia traffic that mobile communication systems are currently experimenting, and since the current spectrum availability has become extremely limited, there is a current trend to investigate and introduce novel modulations that, while having the advantages of cyclic-prefix OFDM (reconfigurability, simple equalization), overcome its inherent spectrum inefficiencies (poor spectrum containment, cyclic prefix). This is the case of filterbank based multicarrier (FBMC) modulations, which have become the most prominent candidates for the next generation of wireless and wired communication systems.
  • Energy Harvesting Communication and Sensor Networks: Energy harvesting (EH) is a promising 5G technology to maximise the lifetime of wireless energy constrained networks. In EH communication networks, the energy needed to sustain their operation is harvested from nature. The energy sources in the nature could be solar panels, environmental vibration- and thermal gradients, but also the man-made electromagnetic radiation. The main objective of this research line is to design communication, estimation, and compression strategies that take into account the random nature of EH sources. Besides, we will explore the applicability of these strategies and techniques to other problems and scenarios involving EH sources, such us user privacy in smart meter systems.
  • Novel paradigms in multi-antenna signal processing: The use of spatial multiplexing of data streams will be crucial in order to achieve the high throughputs that are targeted in next generation of mobile communication standards. By dramatically increasing the number of transmit and receive antenna elements, the number of parallel data streams that can be transmitted in parallel –and hence the total data rate- can be significantly increased.  Thanks to the high efficient spectrum usage and the potentially low energy consumption of mass scale MIMO systems, it is expected that this technology will have a major impact in future radio networks. Mass scale MIMO systems are especially well-suited in mmWave communications. This is because relatively large arrays (in number of elements) can be built with reasonable form factors. Furthermore, the high array gains enable reasonable coverage even for outdoor communications.

On the other hand, we develop FPGA and DSP-based real-time implementations of modern bit-intensive and computationally intensive digital communications systems. Our department has developed a diversified collection of prototyping platforms to build the PHY-layer, develop ultra high-speed/high-performance FPGA designs and perform rapid implementation of SDR (Software Defined Radio) systems, reducing the gap between the research concepts and practical implementations. More details are given here.