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Professor Andrew Nix

Wireless Communication Systems

During the 1990’s Professor Nix's WLAN research activities helped to form a significant part of the first WLAN standard (ETSI HIPERLAN). He continued to innovate in this area via a range of collaborative European Union (EU) projects, such as SATURN, WCAM and ROMANTIK. As a member of the OSIRIS project team (a £2.1M University Innovation Centre) he participated in the development of one of the world’s first hardware prototypes for a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) High Throughput (HT) WLAN. Through collaboration with Toshiba he worked on the design of Gigabit WLAN systems. Through a partnership with Farncombe Professor Nix exploits his Wi-Fi research background to provide a rigourous test and evaluation service for Wi-Fi routers, set top boxes and USB dongles. His work is credited by Virgin Media for boosting performance in their Super Hub 2 and Super Hub 2ac units. He works closely with industry, with well known examples including BSKYB, BT, Dstl, Jaguar Land Rover, Nokia, Saab and Toshiba.

Professor Nix has developed a number of innovative indoor and outdoor propagation models. The indoor models have been used to help optimize a number of commercial wireless communication designs, including Bluetooth, WLAN, TVWS and UWB transceivers. His outdoor model was the first to successfully predict the MIMO matrix channel, with measurement validation reported in the May 2007 edition of the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. The outdoor models are still in development and are currently in use on a number of communication (TV White Space, Wi-Fi and LTE coverage studies) and radar coexistence projects. These models are unique in being able to model large urban areas (150 square kilometers of central London) with full 3D building, irregular terrain and foliage information. The latest improvements allow the modelling of radio communications to/from airborne platforms.

He works closely with the Visual Information Laboratory, where he has co-developed a range of robust wireless video transmission techniques. These range from novel packetisation and link-adaptation algorithms to new ways to jointly encode and transmit video over MIMO channels. This work was core to several grants, including VIGELANT (EPSRC) and VISUALISE (a £1.1M Technology Strategy Board funded project). Results from these projects have led to significant commercial exploitation in the area of multicast video to handsets. This work continued in the TSB funded AIYP (Arkive In Your Pocket) project.

His current research interests include 4G and 5G cellular technologies; most notably radiowave propagation (city wide ray tracing), Massive MIMO and mmWave communication systems. Andrew is working on two high profife EU 5GPPP projects (mmWave and 5G-Xhaul). He collaborates with Bristol's High Performance Networks (HPN) Group in areas such as Software Defined Networks (SDN) and heterogeous smart city wireless infrastructure. He is working on the design of long range low power adaptive modems for Internet of Thing (IoT) applications. His research addresses next generation Wi-Fi systems (4x4 Multi-User MIMO) and the wireless multicast delivery of multi-channel video to Wi-Fi clients in public spaces. Andrew is working on a number of wireless automotive projects, such as VENTURER (one of three UK licensed projects to develop autonomous vehicles). He has filed 15 international patents, many of which are now licensed by major industrial organisations. He has sup ervised more than 50 PhD students and publshed in excess of 450 papers and journals.

Research keywords

  • Radiowave Propagation Modelling
  • LTE
  • 802.11
  • WiMAX
  • TVWS
  • Co-ordinated Beam Forming