Special Issue "Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marta Parazzini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Electronics and Information and Telecommunications Engineering, National Research Council, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: interaction of electromagnetic fields (EMF) with biological systems; the deterministic and stochastic computational dosimetry of EMF; the study of possible effects of EMF on health and the medical applications of EMF; techniques for non-invasive brain and spinal stimulation
Prof. Dr. Wout Joseph
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
WAVES Research Group, Department of Information Technology INTEC, Ghent University/IMEC, Technologiepark 15, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: electromagnetic field exposure assessment; in-on-in-to-out body electromagnetic field modelling; electromagnetic medical applications; propagation for wireless communication systems; IoT; calibration
Dr. Maxim Zhadobov
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Institut d’Electronique et de Télécommunications of Rennes (IETR), France
Interests: innovative biomedical applications of electromagnetic fields and associated technologies.
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The upcoming development of the 5th generation mobile networks (5G) based on wireless communications will involve for the first time a wide use of the millimeter-wave spectrum (30–300 GHz). The need for new network performances, such as low transmission latency and an increase in data rates, will also involve the introduction of technological innovations, such as 'massive' MIMO antennas and beamforming. Furthermore, small cells will be integrated into 5G networks. All these novel usages will lead to a new world of connectivity, which will develop the concept of future smart cities, factories, and roads and will improve the user benefits, providing ubiquitous wireless access to the cloud. These heterogeneous networks will also drastically modify user exposure.

In this Special Issue, we invite submissions dealing with the human exposure assessment in the upcoming 5G exposure scenario and beyond 5G technologies (e.g., in the THz band). Research papers or reviews can focus on (but are not limited to) measurements and/or simulation methodologies for 5G and beyond 5G technologies, deterministic and statistical approaches, in situ exposure assessment, concepts for minimizing exposure, network optimizations, etc.

Dr. Marta Parazzini
Prof. Dr. Wout Joseph
Dr. Maxim Zhadobov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 5G and 6G technologies
  • human exposure assessment
  • measurements
  • simulations
  • real-life scenarios
  • in-situ exposure assessment
  • massive MiMO
  • distributed massive MIMO
  • 5G NR
  • beamforming
  • 5G network optimization and exposure minimization

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Stochastic Dosimetry Assessment of the Human RF-EMF Exposure to 3D Beamforming Antennas in indoor 5G Networks
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041751 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 608
Abstract
The deployment of near future 5G networks will introduce modifications in the population’s exposure levels to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). The present work aimed to face the challenge of studying the exposure variability in the presence of an access point (AP) at 3.7 [...] Read more.
The deployment of near future 5G networks will introduce modifications in the population’s exposure levels to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). The present work aimed to face the challenge of studying the exposure variability in the presence of an access point (AP) at 3.7 GHz with 64 patch elements uniform planar array antenna and 3D beamforming capability. The novelty introduced in the methodology of the exposure’s evaluation was the combining of traditional computational methods with a new approach based on stochastic dosimetry, called polynomial chaos kriging method, in order to estimate the exposure levels for 1000 different antenna beamforming patterns with low computational efforts. The simulations were evaluated considering a child model and computing the specific absorption rate (SAR) in different tissues. The analysis of the results highlighted a high exposure variability scenario depending on the beamforming patterns of the array antenna and identified the ranges of elevation and azimuth angles of the main antenna beam that may cause the highest levels of exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
A Statistical Estimation of 5G Massive MIMO Networks’ Exposure Using Stochastic Geometry in mmWave Bands
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8753; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238753 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
This paper aims to derive an analytical modelling of the downlink exposure in 5G massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna networks using stochastic geometry. The Poisson point process (PPP) is assumed for base station (BS) distribution. The power received at the transmitter [...] Read more.
This paper aims to derive an analytical modelling of the downlink exposure in 5G massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna networks using stochastic geometry. The Poisson point process (PPP) is assumed for base station (BS) distribution. The power received at the transmitter is modeled as a shot-noise process with a modified power law. The distributions of 5G massive MIMO antenna gain and channel gain were obtained by fitting simulation results from the NYUSIM channel simulator. The fitted distributions, e.g., exponential and gamma distribution for antenna and channel gain respectively, were then implemented into an analytical framework. In this paper, we obtained the closed-form expression of the moment-generating function (MGF) for the total exposure in the network. The framework is then validated by numerical simulations. The sensitivity analysis is carried out to investigate the impact of key parameters, e.g., BS density, path loss exponent, and transmission probability. We then proved and quantified the significant impact the transmission probability on global exposure, which indicates the importance of considering the network usage in 5G exposure estimations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
Ray-Tracing-Based Numerical Assessment of the Spatiotemporal Duty Cycle of 5G Massive MIMO in an Outdoor Urban Environment
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7631; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217631 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
In the near future, wireless coverage will be provided by the base stations equipped with dynamically-controlled massive phased antenna arrays that direct the transmission towards the user. This contribution describes a computational method to estimate realistic maximum power levels produced by such base [...] Read more.
In the near future, wireless coverage will be provided by the base stations equipped with dynamically-controlled massive phased antenna arrays that direct the transmission towards the user. This contribution describes a computational method to estimate realistic maximum power levels produced by such base stations, in terms of the time-averaged normalized antenna array gain. The Ray-Tracing method is used to simulate the electromagnetic field (EMF) propagation in an urban outdoor macro-cell environment model. The model geometry entities are generated stochastically, which allowed generalization of the results through statistical analysis. Multiple modes of the base station operation are compared: from LTE multi-user codebook beamforming to the more advanced Maximum Ratio and Zero-Forcing precoding schemes foreseen to be implemented in the massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) communication protocols. The influence of the antenna array size, from 4 up to 100 elements, in a square planar arrangement is studied. For a 64-element array, the 95th percentile of the maximum time-averaged array gain amounts to around 20% of the theoretical maximum, using the Maximum Ratio precoding with 5 simultaneously connected users, assuming a 10 s connection duration per user. Connection between the average array gain and actual EMF levels in the environment is drawn and its implications on the human exposure in the next generation networks are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
Antenna/Body Coupling in the Near-Field at 60 GHz: Impact on the Absorbed Power Density
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7392; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217392 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Wireless devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are intended to be used in the vicinity of the human body. When an antenna is placed close to a lossy medium, near-field interactions may modify the electromagnetic field distribution. Here, we analyze analytically and [...] Read more.
Wireless devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, are intended to be used in the vicinity of the human body. When an antenna is placed close to a lossy medium, near-field interactions may modify the electromagnetic field distribution. Here, we analyze analytically and numerically the impact of antenna/human body interactions on the transmitted power density (TPD) at 60 GHz using a skin-equivalent model. To this end, several scenarios of increasing complexity are considered: plane-wave illumination, equivalent source, and patch antenna arrays. Our results demonstrate that, for all considered scenarios, the presence of the body in the vicinity of a source results in an increase in the average TPD. The local TPD enhancement due to the body presence close to a patch antenna array reaches 95.5% for an adult (dry skin). The variations are higher for wet skin (up to 98.25%) and for children (up to 103.3%). Both absolute value and spatial distribution of TPD are altered by the antenna/body coupling. These results suggest that the exact distribution of TPD cannot be retrieved from measurements of the incident power density in free-space in absence of the body. Therefore, for accurate measurements of the absorbed and epithelial power density (metrics used as the main dosimetric quantities at frequencies > 6 GHz), it is important to perform measurements under conditions where the wireless device under test is perturbed in the same way as by the presence of the human body in realistic use case scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
Total Local Dose in Hypothetical 5G Mobile Networks for Varied Topologies and User Scenarios
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 5971; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10175971 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
In this study, the total electromagnetic dose, i.e., the combined dose from fixed antennas and mobile devices, was estimated for a number of hypothetical network topologies for implementation in Switzerland to support the deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile communication systems while maintaining [...] Read more.
In this study, the total electromagnetic dose, i.e., the combined dose from fixed antennas and mobile devices, was estimated for a number of hypothetical network topologies for implementation in Switzerland to support the deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile communication systems while maintaining exposure guidelines for public safety. In this study, we consider frequency range 1 (FR1) and various user scenarios. The estimated dose in hypothetical 5G networks was extrapolated from measurements in one of the Swiss 4G networks and by means of Monte Carlo analysis. The results show that the peak dose is always dominated by an individual’s mobile phone and, in the case of non-users, by the bystanders’ mobile phones. The reduction in cell size and the separation of indoor and outdoor coverage can substantially reduce the total dose by >10 dB. The introduction of higher frequencies in 5G mobile networks, e.g., 3.6 GHz, reduces the specific absorption rate (SAR) in the entire brain by an average of −8 dB, while the SAR in the superficial tissues of the brain remains locally constant, i.e., within ±3 dB. Data from real networks with multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) were not available; the effect of adaptive beam-forming antennas on the dose will need to be quantitatively revisited when 5G networks are fully established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
Analysis of the Actual Power and EMF Exposure from Base Stations in a Commercial 5G Network
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5280; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155280 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
In this work, monitoring of the transmit power for several base stations operating in a live 5G network (Telstra, Australia) was conducted with the purpose of analyzing the radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure levels. The base stations made use of state-of-the-art [...] Read more.
In this work, monitoring of the transmit power for several base stations operating in a live 5G network (Telstra, Australia) was conducted with the purpose of analyzing the radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure levels. The base stations made use of state-of-the-art massive MIMO antennas utilizing beamforming in order to optimize the signal strength at the user’s device. In order to characterize the actual EMF exposure from 5G base stations, knowledge of the amount of power dynamically allocated to each beam is therefore of importance. Experimental data on the spatial distribution of the base stations’ transmit power were gathered directly from the network by extracting information on the radio and baseband operations. Out of more than 13 million samples collected over 24 h, the maximum time-averaged power per beam direction was found to be well-below the theoretical maximum and lower than what was predicted by the existing statistical models. The results show that assuming constant peak power transmission in a fixed beam direction leads to an unrealistic EMF exposure assessment. This work provides insights relevant for the standardization of EMF compliance assessment methodologies applicable for 5G base stations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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Article
Forward Transformation from Reactive Near-Field to Near and Far-Field at Millimeter-Wave Frequencies
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(14), 4780; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10144780 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 927
Abstract
With the advent of 5G mobile communications at millimeter-wave frequencies, the assessment of the maximum averaged power density on numerous surfaces close to the transmitter will become a requirement. This makes phasor knowledge about the electric and magnetic fields an inevitable requirement. To [...] Read more.
With the advent of 5G mobile communications at millimeter-wave frequencies, the assessment of the maximum averaged power density on numerous surfaces close to the transmitter will become a requirement. This makes phasor knowledge about the electric and magnetic fields an inevitable requirement. To avoid the burdensome measurement of these field quantities in the entire volume of interest, phase reconstruction algorithms from measurements over a plane in the far-field region are being extensively developed. In this paper, we extended the previously developed method of phase reconstruction to evaluate the near and far-field of sources with bounded uncertainty, which is robust with respect to noisy data and optimized for a minimal number of measurement points at a distance as close as λ /5 from the source. The proposed procedure takes advantage of field integral equations and electric field measurements with the EUmmWVx probe to evaluate the field phasors close to the radiation source and subsequently obtain the field values in the whole region of interest with minimal computation and measurement costs. The main constraints are the maximal noise level regarding the peak electric field and measurement plane size with respect to the percentage of transmitted power content. The measurement of a third plane overcomes some of the noise issues. The method was evaluated by simulations of a wide range of antennas at different noise levels and at different distances and by measurements of four different antennas. A successful reconstruction in the near and far-field was achieved both qualitatively and quantitatively for distances between 2.5–150 mm from the antenna and noise levels of −24 dB from the peak. The deviation of reconstruction from the simulation reference for the peak spatial-average power density with an averaging area of 1 cm 2 was, in all cases, well within the uncertainty budget of 0.6 dB, if the reconstruction planes captured >95% of the total radiated power. The proposed new method is very promising for compliance assessment and can reduce test time considerably. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Exposure in 5G and 6G Scenarios)
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