Directional modulation (DM) is an emerging technology for securing wireless communications at the physical layer. This promising technology, unlike the conventional key-based cryptographic methods and the key-based physical layer security approaches, locks information signals without any requirements of keys. The locked information can only be fully recovered by the legitimate receiver(s) priory known by DM transmitters. This paper reviews the origin of the DM concept and, particularly, its development in recent years, including its mathematical model, assessment metrics, synthesis approaches, physical realizations, and finally its potential aspects for future studies.
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