The upcoming 5th generation (5G) wireless technology application areas bring new communication performance requirements, mainly in terms of reliability and latency, but also in terms of radio planning, where further detailed characterization of the wireless channel is needed. To address these demands, we developed an agile multi-node multi-antenna wireless channel sounding system, using multiple software defined radio (SDR) devices. The system consists of 12 testbed nodes which are controlled from a centralized testbed server. Each node features a control host computer and 2 multi-antenna universal software radio peripheral (USRP) boards. By managing the transmission and reception of reference signals among all the distributed testbed nodes, the system can measure the channel conditions of all multiple independent radio links. At the same time, the distributed architecture of the testbed allows a large number of spatially distributed locations to be covered with only a few redeployments of the testbed nodes. As a consequence of this, the system favors the collection of a large number of distributed channel samples with limited effort within a short dedicated measurement time. In this paper, we detail the general testbed design considerations, along with the specific sounding signal processing implementations. As further support to the system design, we also include the results from different verification and calibration tests, as well as a real measurement application example.
- channel sounding