Communication Systems Division


The Communication Systems Division (CSD) is a group of over 24 researchers in advanced communications and information systems. It combines in an integrated unit a deep understanding of theoretical foundations and frontier research on signal processing and information theory with a genuine passion for experimentation and prototyping. The result is a research group that is able to deliver solutions in a very competitive manner and in industry-grade form factors. Research activities address the challenges of innovative spectrum sharing arrangements, providing ways for an efficient, dynamic and productive use of the available spectrum, and including both terrestrial and satellite segments. The group is active in several research programs, mainly the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, National and Regional Government Programs, and the European Space Agency’s Basic Technology Research Programme (TRP). We collaborate with industrial and academic partners bilaterally or through funded research programs. CSD is composed of three Departments: Advanced Signal and Information Processing (ASIP), Array and Multi-Sensor Processing (A&MSP), and Statistical Inference for Communications and Positioning (SI).



The activity of the ASIP Department is mainly focused on fundamental and applied research in signal processing and information theory, giving special emphasis to wireless communications.  Our main objective is to contribute to spectrum sharing techniques for bandwidth-hungry service deployments in future 5G mobile communication systems. We specifically cover the design of novel transmission techniques in order to increase the spectrum efficiency while reducing the amount of energy that is employed for the transmission of each bit.

In order to tackle these challenges, the ASIP Department proposes to set up three research lines of rather theoretical nature, namely:

·         Post-OFDM filterbank multicarrier (FBMC) modulations for 5G wireless communications.

·         Novel paradigms in multi-antenna signal processing.

·         Energy Harvesting Communication and Sensor Networks.

The A&MSP Department focuses on Spatial Interference Management in Licensed Shared Access (LSA): Short Range Communications and Satellite communications. LSA is considered to be a key enabler for an efficient use of the available spectrum in 5G and beyond networks, which will become absolutely compulsory in order to cope with the unprecedented wireless traffic growth that has been predicted for the 2014-2020 period. The field of application includes space communications, future cellular networks, and wireless sensor/actuators networks.

Activities are centered in four main research lines:

·         New paradigms for hybrid satellite-terrestrial communications.

·         Advanced multi-antenna processing techniques and optimization strategies for interference limited networks: PHY-MAC Cross-layer design for Resource Management

·         New waveform generation for terrestrial-satellite: multi-carrier filterbank and development of a Software platform.

·         Cross-design of antennas and signal processing techniques for emerging multi-antenna technologies such as spatial-modulation (SM) or large-scale multiple antenna systems (LSMAs or Massive MIMO). Distributed MIMO systems.

Research activities at the SI Department are focused towards designing advanced receiver techniques and architectures for the new generation of Communication and Positioning systems. The Department carries out fundamental and applied research in the fields of statistical signal processing, communication theory, multi-antenna systems, data fusion, and PHY prototyping. Activities are centered in four main research lines:

·         Advanced synchronization techniques, robust to propagation impairments and weak signal conditions (strong involvement in deep space communications and robust ranging).

·         Coding aspects for (5G and beyond) wireless communications, including (physical-layer) network coding and decoding algorithms.

·         Anywhere/anytime positioning systems, including GNSS and indoor positioning solutions with proof-of-concept developments.

·         Prototyping of PHY communication and positioning systems, with focus on baseband processing but encompassing end-to-end receiver design.