Intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRSs) have emerged as a key enabler for beyond fifth-generation (B5G) communication technology and for realizing sixth-generation (6G) cellular communication. In addition, B5G and 6G networks are expected to support aerial user communications in accordance with the expanded requirements of data transmission for an aerial user. However, there are challenges in providing wireless communication for aerial users owing to the different radio wave propagation properties between terrestrial areas and aerial areas. In this article, we propose an IRS-aided cellular network coverage extension for aerial users. In our proposed network, IRS and base stations (BSs) cooperate with each other to provide air-ground communication to aerial users (AUs), the aim of which is to prevent interference signals from spreading to a wide area. Furthermore, IRS placement is designed to maximize the network performance in terms of the spatial signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) while mitigating inter-cell interference. Numerical analysis results indicate that the proposed IRS-aided network outperforms the benchmark system without IRSs when the IRS installation positions are optimally determined.
- 5G mobile communication
- Cellular networks
- Wireless communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering