63 Publications


This paper presents SoundSticker, a system for steganographic, in-band data communication over an acoustic channel. In contrast with recent works that hide bits in inaudible frequency bands, SoundSticker embeds hidden bits in the audible sounds, making them more reliably survive audio codecs and bandpass filtering, while achieving a higher data rate and remaining imperceptible to a listener. The key observation behind SoundSticker is that the human ear is less sensitive to the audio phase changes than the frequency and amplitude changes, which leaves us an opportunity to alter the phase of an audio clip to convey hidden information. We take advantage of this opportunity and build an OFDM-based physical layer. To make this PHY-layer design work for a variety of end devices with heterogeneous computation resources, SoundSticker addresses multiple technical challenges including perceivable waveform artifacts caused by the phase-based modulation, bit rate adaptation without channel sounding and real-time preamble detection. Our prototype on both smartphones and ESP32 platforms demonstrates SoundSticker’s superior performance against the state of the arts, while preserving excellent sound quality and remaining unaffected by common audio codecs like MP3 and AAC. Audio clips produced by SoundSticker can be found at

This paper presents Monolith, a high bitrate, low- power, metamaterials surface-based Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) MIMO multiplexing design for rank deficient, free space wireless environments. Leveraging ambient signals as the source of power, Monolith backscatters these ambient signals by modulating them into several orthogonal beams, where each beam carries a unique OAM. We provide insights along the design aspects of a low-power and programmable metamaterials- based surface. Our results show that Monolith achieves an order of magnitude higher channel capacity than traditional spatial MIMO backscattering networks.


To support faster and more efficient networks, mobile operators and service providers are bringing 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) networks indoors. However, due to their high directionality, mmWave links are extremely vulnerable to blockage by walls and human mobility. To address these challenges, we exploit advances in artificially-engineered metamaterials, introducing a wall-mounted smart metasurface, called mmWall, that enables a fast mmWave beam relay through the wall and redirects the beam power to another direction when a human body blocks a line-of-sight path. Moreover, our mmWall supports multiple users and fast beam alignment by generating multi-armed beams. We sketch the design of a real-time system by considering (1) how to design a programmable, metamaterials-based surface that refracts the incoming signal to one or more arbitrary directions, and (2) how to split an incoming mmWave beam into multiple outgoing beams and arbitrarily control the beam energy between these beams. Preliminary results show the mmWall metasurface steers the outgoing beam in a full 360-degrees, with an 89.8% single-beam efficiency and 74.5% double-beam efficiency.

The first low earth orbit satellite networks for internet service have recently been deployed and are growing in size, yet will face deployment challenges in many practical circumstances of interest. This paper explores how a dual-band, elec- tronically tunable smart surface can enable dynamic beam alignment between the satellite and mobile users, make service possible in urban canyons, and improve service in rural areas. Our design is the first of its kind to target dual channels in the Ku radio frequency band with a novel dual Huygens resonator design that leverages radio reciprocity to allow our surface to simultaneously steer energy in the satellite uplink and downlink directions, and in both reflective and transmissive modes of operation. Our surface, Wall-E, is designed and evaluated in an electromagnetic simulator and demonstrates 94% transmission efficiency and a 85% reflection efficiency, with at most 6 dB power loss at steering angles over a 150 degree field of view for both transmission and reflection. With 75𝑐𝑚2 surface, our link budget calculations predict 4 dB and 24 dB improvement in the SNR of a link entering the window of a rural home in comparison to the free-space path and brick wall penetration, respectively.

Mobile operators are poised to leverage millimeter wave technology as 5G evolves, but despite efforts to bolster their reliability indoors and outdoors, mmWave links remain vulnerable to blockage by walls, people, and obstacles. Further, there is significant interest in bringing outdoor mmWave coverage indoors, which for similar reasons remains challenging today. This paper presents the design, hardware implementation, and experimental evaluation of mmWall, the first electronically almost-360 degree steerable metamaterial surface that operates above 24 GHz and both refracts or reflects incoming mmWave transmissions. Our metamaterial design consists of arrays of varactor-split ring resonator unit cells, miniaturized for mmWave. Custom control circuitry drives each resonator, overcoming coupling challenges that arise at scale. Leveraging beam steering algorithms, we integrate mmWall into the link layer discovery protocols of common mmWave networks. We have fabricated a 10 cm by 20 cm mmWall prototype consisting of a 28 by 76 unit cell array, and evaluate in indoor, outdoor-to-indoor, and multi-beam scenarios. Indoors, mmWall guarantees 91% of locations outage-free under 128-QAM mmWave data rates and boosts SNR by up to 15 dB. Outdoors, mmWall reduces the probability of complete link failure by a ratio of up to 40% under 0-80% path blockage and boosts SNR by up to 30 dB.



Princeton Advanced Wireless Systems Lab
35 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540 USA

Department of Computer Science
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences