Intelligent Reflecting Surface Aided Vehicular Communications

We investigate the use of an intelligent reflecting surface (IRS) in a millimeter-wave (mmWave) vehicular communication network. An intelligent reflecting surface consists of passive elements, which can reflect the incoming signals with adjustable phase shifts. By properly tuning the phase shifts we can improve link performance. This is known as phase optimization or passive beamforming. We consider the problem of rate maximization in the uplink, which utilizes an IRS. However, using an IRS brings more challenges in terms of channel estimation. We propose two schemes to reduce the channel estimation overhead associated with utilizing an IRS. One method uses the grouping of reflecting elements and the other one performs passive beamforming based on the position of the device. Numerical results show IRS can bring significant improvements to existing communication. Furthermore, to get a practical insight into vehicular communications aided by an IRS, we use a commercial ray-tracing tool to evaluate the performance.