Spherical Fourier-Transform-Based Real-Time Near-Field Shaping and Focusing in Beyond-5G Networks

For ultra-reliable high-data-rate communication, the beyond fifth generation (B5G) and the sixth generation (6G) wireless networks will heavily rely on beamforming, with mobile users often located in the radiative near-field of large antenna systems. Therefore, a novel approach to shape both the amplitude and phase of the electric near-field of any general antenna array topology is presented. Leveraging on the active element patterns generated by each antenna port, the beam synthesis capabilities of the array are exploited through Fourier analysis and spherical mode expansions. As a proof-of-concept, two different arrays are synthesized from the same active antenna element. These arrays are used to obtain 2D near-field patterns with sharp edges and a 30 dB difference between the fields’ magnitudes inside and outside the target regions. Various validation and application examples demonstrate the full control of the radiation in every direction, yielding optimal performance for the users in the focal zones, while significantly improving the management of the power density outside of them. Moreover, the advocated algorithm is very efficient, allowing for a fast, real-time modification and shaping of the array’s radiative near-field.


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