Beamforming is a key technique that is used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of received signals, eliminate undesirable interference sources, and focus transmitted signals on a specific location. Beamforming is at the heart of modern wireless communications systems such as 5G, LTE and WLAN, and is used in sensor arrays in radar, sonar, medical imaging, and audio systems.
Developing a beamformer and evaluating algorithm alternatives is only the first step toward achieving the required performance of a wireless communications or radar system. To assess performance, the beamformer must be integrated into a system-level model and evaluated over a collection of parameter, steering, and channel combinations. Another challenge involves system-level tradeoffs between performing beamforming in the radio frequency (RF) and/or digital baseband domain. All of these activities are best done early in the design process.
Modeling beamforming algorithms in the context of an entire system including RF, antenna, and signal processing components can address these challenges. MATLAB® and Simulink® provide a full set of modeling and simulation tools and algorithms needed to design, test, and integrate beamformers, and to perform full system-level analysis.