Reconfigurable reflective surfaces can alter the propagation environment to improve wireless communication and power transfer. Paramount to this operation—which has attracted much attention recently—is the assumption that the reflective surface has prior knowledge of the propagation environment, for example, the direction/location of the transmitter and the intended receiver(s). To address this need, we propose a reconfigurable reflective metasurface with integrated sensing capabilities. By modifying the tunable meta-atoms constituting the metasurface, we couple small portions of the incident wave to an array of sensing waveguides. As an illustrative example, we demonstrate the ability to use the sampled incident wave to detect its angle of arrival. In addition, we propose and numerically demonstrate the possibility to reduce the required sensors, i.e., the number of radio frequency (RF) chains needed to acquire the sensed signals, by leveraging the inherent metasurface’s tunable multiplexing capability. A reconfigurable reflective metasurface with integrated sensing capabilities can benefit wireless communications, wireless power transfer, RF sensing, and smart sensors.
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