BER Reduction Using Partial-Elements Selection in IRS-UAV Communications With Imperfect Phase Compensation

Sobia Jangsher, Mohammad Al-Jarrah, Arafat Al-Dweik, Emad Alsusa, Mohamed Slim Alouini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article considers minimizing the communications bit error rate (BER) of unmanned aerial vehicles when assisted by intelligent reflecting surfaces. By noting that increasing the number of IRS elements in the presence of phase errors does not necessarily improve the system's BER, it is crucial to use only the elements that contribute to reducing such a parameter. To this end, we propose an efficient algorithm to select the elements that can improve BER. The proposed algorithm has lower complexity and comparable BER to the optimum selection process, which is an NP-hard problem. The accuracy of the estimated phase is evaluated by deriving the probability distribution function (PDF) of the least-square channel estimator, and showing that the PDF can be closely approximated by the von Mises distribution at high signal-to-noise ratios. The obtained analytical and simulation results show that using all the available reflectors can significantly deteriorate the BER, and thus, partial element selection is necessary. It is shown that, in some scenarios, using about 26% of the reflectors provides more than tenfold BER reduction. The number of selected reflectors may drop to only 10% of the total elements. As such, the unassigned 90% of the elements can be allocated to serve other users, and the overhead associated with phase information is significantly reduced.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)623-633
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • Bit error rate (BER)
  • imperfect phase
  • intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRS)
  • phase compensation
  • phase error
  • phase estimation
  • unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)


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