Pulse Shape Adaptation and Channel Estimation in Generalised Frequency Division Multiplexing Systems

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is well known as an efficient technology for wireless communications and is widely used in many of the current and upcoming wireless and wireline communication standards. However, it has some intrinsic drawbacks, e.g., sensitivity to the inter-carrier interference (ICI) and high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR). Additionally, the cyclic prefix (CP) is not spectrum efficient and fails when the channel delay spread exceeds the length of CP, which will result in inter-symbol interference (ISI). In order to combat or alleviate these drawbacks various techniques have been proposed, which can be categorised into two main classes: techniques that keep the structure of OFDM and meanwhile increase the system robustness or re-organise the symbol streams on each sub-carrier, and techniques that increase the ISI/ICI immunity by adopting well designed pulse shapes and/or resorting to general system lattices. The latter class are coined as Generalised FDM (GFDM) throughout this thesis to distinguish with the former class.To enable seamless handover and efficient usage of spectrum and energy, GFDM is expected to dynamically adopt pulse shapes that are optimal in doubly (time and frequency) dispersive fading channels. This is however not an easy task as the method of optimal pulse shape adaptation is still unclear, let alone efficient implementationmethods. Besides, performance of GFDM highly depends on the channel estimation quality, which is not straightforward in GFDM systems.This thesis addresses, among many other aspects of GFDM systems, measures of the time frequency localisation (TFL) property, pulse shape adaptation strategy, performance evaluation and channel estimation.  We first provide a comparative study of state-of-the-art GFDM technologies and a brief overview of the TFL functions and parameters which will be used frequently in later analysis and discussion. A framework for GFDM pulse shape optimisation is formulated targeting at minimising the combined ISI/ICI over doubly dispersive channels. We also propose a practical adaptation strategy utilising the extended Gaussian functions (EGF) and discuss the trade-off between performance and complexity.  One realisation under the umbrella of GFDM, namely OFDM/OQAM, is intensively studied and an efficient implementation method by direct discretisation of the continuous time model has been proposed.  Besides, a theoretical framework for a novel preamble-based channel estimation method has been presented and a new preamble sequence with higher gain is identified. Under the framework, an optimal pulse shape dependent preamble structure together with a suboptimal but pulse shape independent preamble structure have been proposed and evaluated in the context of OFDM/OQAM.