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**Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing for Wireless Networks
**

Standard IEEE 802.11a

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA By

ANÍBAL LUIS INTINI Graduate Student Electrical and Computer Engineering Department aintini@engineering.ucsb.edu December, 2000

Contents

1. Introduction _______________________________________________________________ 1 2. The Standard IEEE 802.11a _________________________________________________ 5 3. Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance __________________________ 10 4. Propagation Characteristics of mobile radio channels ______________________ 11 4.1. Attenuation____________________________________________________________ 12 4.2. Multipath Effects ______________________________________________________ 12 4.2.1. Rayleigh fading __________________________________________________________ 12 4.2.2. Frequency Selective Fading __________________________________________________ 13 4.3. Delay Spread __________________________________________________________ 14 4.4. Doppler Shift __________________________________________________________ 15 5. OFDM ____________________________________________________________________ 16 5.1. General Structure______________________________________________________ 16 5.2. Implementation________________________________________________________ 18 5.2.1. Guard time and cyclic extension _______________________________________________ 20 5.2.2. Windowing_____________________________________________________________ 20 5.3. Forward Error Correction Coding ______________________________________ 22 5.3.1. Block Codes ____________________________________________________________ 22 5.4. Interleaving ___________________________________________________________ 24 6. Synchronization __________________________________________________________ 26 6.1. Synchronization Using Special Training Symbols_________________________ 29 7. Detection _________________________________________________________________ 31 7.1. Coherent Detection ____________________________________________________ 32 7.2. Two-Dimensional Channel Estimators ___________________________________ 33 8. Simulation ________________________________________________________________ 36 Conclusion__________________________________________________________________ 38 Acknowledgements __________________________________________________________ 39 References__________________________________________________________________ 39

Figures

Figure 1. Concept of OFDM signal: orthogonal multicarrier technique..........................................2 Figure 2. Spectra of (a) an OFDM subchannel and (b) and OFDM signal. .....................................3 Figure 3. 5-Ghz frequency spectrum allocation ................................................................................7 Figure 4. IEEE 802.11a frame format for 5 GHz. .............................................................................8 Figure 5. IEEE 802.11a channel scheme.........................................................................................10 Figure 6. Typical Rayleigh fading while the Mobile Unit is moving (900 MHz)[11] .....................13 Figure 7. Multipath Delay Spread ...................................................................................................15 Figure 8 OFDM modulator..............................................................................................................17 Figure 9. Block diagram of an OFDM transceiver..........................................................................19 Figure 10. OFDM frame with cyclic extension and windowing for (a) single ................................21 Figure 11. Convolutional encoder (k = 7) .......................................................................................22 Figure 12. BER of the (16,11,4) RM code and rate 2/3 memory 2 and 3 ........................................24 Figure 13. Convolutional interleaver ..............................................................................................26 Figure 14. Synchronization using the cyclic prefix..........................................................................26 Figure 15. Received phasor, showing effect of noise on the received phase angle .........................28 Figure 16. OFDM training structure ...............................................................................................30 Figure 17. Block diagram of an OFDM receiver with coherent detection......................................32 Figure 18. Pilot Sequence Generator ..............................................................................................34 Figure 19. Pilot Frequency Allocation ............................................................................................34 Figure 20. Simulink OFDM Model ..................................................................................................36 Figure 21. OFDM Signal Spectrum .................................................................................................37 Figure 22. Received constellation for a given amout of noise.........................................................38

Tables

Table 1. Typical attenuation in a radio channel ..............................................................................12 Table 2. Cumulative distribution for Rayleigh distribution [11] .....................................................13 Table 3. Typical Delay Spread [11].................................................................................................15 Table 4. Physical layer parameters. ................................................................................................19 Table 5. Physical layer parameters. ................................................................................................20

ORTHOGONAL FREQUENCY DIVISION MULTIPLEXING FOR WIRELESS NETWORKS

Abstract. Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is a special case of multicarrier transmission, where a single datastream is transmitted over a number of lower rate subcarriers. In July 1998, the IEEE standardization group decided to select OFDM as the basis for their new 5-GHz standard, targeting a range of data stream from 6 up to 54 Mbps. This new standard is the first one to use OFDM in packet-based communications, while the use of OFDM until now was limited to continuous transmission systems. In this project, transmitter and receiver were simulated according to the parameters established by the standard, to evaluate the performance and different possibilities in the implementation. Also, some considerations about forward error correction coding, synchronization and channel estimation are given oriented to improve the system performance. 1. Introduction

OFDM is of great interest by researchers and research laboratories all over the world. It has already been accepted for the new wireless local area network standards IEEE 802.11a, High Performance LAN type 2 (HIPERLAN/2) and Mobile Multimedia Access Communication (MMAC) Systems. Also, it is expected to be used for wireless broadband multimedia communications. Data rate is really what broadband is about. The new standard specify bit rates of up to 54 Mbps. Such high rate imposes large bandwidth, thus pushing carriers for values higher than UHF band. For instance, IEEE802.11a has frequencies allocated in the 5- and 17- GHz bands. This project is oriented to the application of OFDM to the standard IEEE 802.11a, following the parameters established for that case. OFDM can be seen as either a modulation technique or a multiplexing technique. One of the main reasons to use OFDM is to increase the robustness against frequency selective fading or narrowband interference. In a single carrier system, a single fade or interferer can cause the entire link to fail, but in a multicarrier system, only a small percentage of the subcarriers will be affected. Error correction coding can then be used to correct for the few erroneous subcarriers. The concept of using parallel data transmission and frequency division multiplexing was published in the mid-1960s [1, 2]. Some early

December, 2000 Page 1 - 40

we save almost 50% of bandwidth.S. however we need to December. To cope with the inefficiency. patent was filed and issued in January 1970 [4]. each carrying a signaling rate b is spaced b apart in frequency to avoid the use of high-speed equalization and to combat impulsive noise and multipath distortion. the total signal frequency band is divided into N nonoverlapping frequency subchannels.OFDM for Wireless Networks development is traced back to the 1950s [3]. Each subchannel is modulated with a separate symbol and then the N subchannels are frequency-multiplexed. To realize the overlapping multicarrier technique. As shown in Figure 1. It seems good to avoid spectral overlap of channels to eliminate interchannel interference. as well as to fully use the available bandwidth. Concept of OFDM signal: orthogonal multicarrier technique versus conventional multicarrier technique Figure 1 illustrates the difference between the conventional nonoverlapping multicarrier technique and the overlapping multicarrier modulation technique. by using the overlapping multicarrier modulation technique. the ideas proposed from the mid-1960s were to use parallel data and FDM with overlapping subchannels. A U. In a classical parallel data system.40 . this leads to inefficient use of the available spectrum. However. in which. Figure 1. 2000 Page 2 .

in the time domain. to arrange the carriers in an OFDM signal so that the sidebands of the individual carriers overlap and the signals are still received without adjacent carrier interference. To do this. many carriers are spaced apart in such a way that the signals can be received using conventional filters and demodulators. have a whole number of cycles in the symbol period T.OFDM for Wireless Networks reduce crosstalk between subcarriers. which results in a lowering of spectrum efficiency. 2000 Page 3 . Spectra of (a) an OFDM subchannel and (b) and OFDM signal. Much of the research focuses on the high efficient multicarrier transmission scheme based on "orthogonal frequency" carriers. (a) (b) Figure 2. In such receivers.40 . The receiver acts as a bank of demodulators. It is possible. The word orthogonal indicates that there is a precise mathematical relationship between the frequencies of the carriers in the system. Figure 2(a) shows the spectrum of the individual data of the subchannel. multiplexed in the individual spectra with a December. guard bands are introduced between the different carriers and in the frequency domain. the carriers must be mathematically orthogonal. orthogonal) if the carrier spacing is a multiple of 1/T. translating each carrier down to DC. Weinstein and Ebert applied the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) to parallel data transmission systems as part of the modulation and demodulation process. with the resulting signal integrated over a symbol period to recover the raw data. then the integration process results in zero contribution from all these other carriers. Thus. If the other carriers all beat down the frequencies that. however..e. the carriers are linearly independent (i. In a normal frequency-division multiplex system. The OFDM signal. In 1971. which means that we want orthogonality between the different modulated carriers.

ü It is possible to use maximum likelihood decoding with reasonable complexity. digital audio broadcasting (DAB). large-size FFT chips commercially affordable. frequency-division multiplex is achieved not by bandpass filtering but by baseband processing. 1.OFDM for Wireless Networks frequency spacing b equal to the transmission speed of each subcarrier. very-high-speed digital subscriber lines (VDSL. various-speed modems were developed for telephone networks. ü Using adequate channel coding and interleaving one can recover symbols lost due to the frequency selectivity of the channel. which is an efficient implementation of the DFT . there is no crosstalk from other channels. In addition. both transmitter and receiver are implemented using efficient FFT techniques that reduce the number of operations from N2 in DFT down to N log N. is shown in Figure 1(b). Therefore. In the 1990s. to eliminate the banks of subcarrier oscillators and coherent demodulators required by frequency-division multiplex. completely digital implementations could be built around special-purpose hardware performing the fast Fourier transform (FFT). 2000 Page 4 . OFDM is more resistant to frequency selective fading than single carrier systems are. Recent advances in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) technology make high-speed. Moreover. One of the systems realized the OFDM techniques for multiplexed QAM using DFT. and high-definition television (HDTV) terrestrial broadcasting.40 . The OFDM transmission scheme has the following key advantages: ü Makes efficient use of the spectrum by allowing overlap ü By dividing the channel into narrowband flat fading subchannels. Moreover. 100 Mbps). high-bit-rate digital subscriber lines (HDSL. ü Eliminates ISI and IFI through use of a cyclic prefix. if we use DFT at the receiver and calculate correlation values with the center of frequency of each subcarrier. using the DFT-based multicarrier technique. up to 6 Mbps). Figure 2 shows that at the center frequency of each subcarrier. ü Channel equalization becomes simpler than by using adaptive equalization techniques with single carrier systems. OFDM was studied for high-speed modems.6 Mbps). OFDM was exploited for wideband data communications over mobile radio FM channels. digital mobile communications. In the 1980s. stabilizing carrier and clock frequency control and implementing trellis coding are also implemented. and by using pilot tone. as discussed in OFDM is computationally efficient by using FFT techniques to implement the modulation and demodulation functions. asymmetric digital subscriber lines (ADSL. and high-density recording. Using this method. we recover the transmitted data with no crosstalk. December.

11 WLANs operate is different from wired media in many ways. control frames are used to manage the data transmission. In terms of drawbacks OFDM has the following characteristics: ü The OFDM signal has a noise like amplitude with a very large dynamic range. To solve potential security problems. 2000 Page 5 . data frames are broken into smaller frames in an attempt to increase the probability of delivering packets without errors induced by the interferer. designers can avoid interference problems in their WLAN designs. The Standard IEEE 802. ü Is less sensitive to sample timing offsets than single carrier systems are. When frames are fragmented into request-to-send (RTS). the sequence control field in the MAC header indicates placement of the individual fragments and whether the current fragment is the last in the sequence.OFDM for Wireless Networks ü In conjunction with differential modulation there is no need to implement a channel estimator.11b radios handle interference well because they support a feature in the MAC layer known as fragmentation. But interference is not the only problem for today's WLAN designers. Therefore.11a for 5-GHz operation. Interference on the wireless medium can result in packet loss. When a frame is fragmented.11b for 2. One of those differences is the presence of interference in unlicensed frequency bands. For high data rates. In fragmentation. clear-to-send (CTS). the standard provides two PHYs . therefore it requires RF power amplifiers with a high peak to average power ratio. Current 2. which can impact communications between WLAN NICs. ü Provides good protection against cochannel interference and impulsive parasitic noise. which causes the network to suffer in terms of throughput performance. ü It is more sensitive to carrier frequency offset and drift than single carrier systems are due to leakage of the DFT. using fragmentation.IEEE 802. Security issues are also a major concern. and acknowledge (ACK). The IEEE 802. The wireless medium on which the 802.11a standard is designed to serve applications that require data rates higher than 11 Mbps in the 5-GHz frequency band.4-GHz operation and IEEE 802.40 .11 specification is a wireless LAN (WLAN) standard that defines a set of requirements for the physical layer (PHY) and a medium access control (MAC) layer. the IEEE has December.11a The IEEE 802.4-GHz 802. 2.

Moving to the 5-GHz band offers over three times the operating bandwidth over the available spectrum in the 2. especially when designing IEEE 802. Inc. The encrypted data frames are transmitted with the WEP bit set in the frame control field of the MAC header. December. requires the scanning wireless NIC to transmit and receive responses from 802.11 standard does not specify a method for scanning. that supports variable key lengths up to 256 bits. but many 802. However. WLAN systems have been designed to operate in the unlicensed 2. choosing the right modulation and frequency band should be a priority in RF design.11a radios.4-GHz band. the cost is the time spent listening for a frame on a channel that is idle or may never occur.OFDM for Wireless Networks incorporated a MAC-level privacy mechanism within the 802. spanning from 2.4GHz frequency band. RC4 is a symmetric stream cipher developed by RSA Data Security. which protects the content of data frames going over a wireless medium from eavesdroppers. Passive scanning allows a mobile wireless NIC to find an IEEE 802.4-GHz unlicensed band. while extracting information about the particular frequency channel. which shares spectrum with other wireless appliances such as Bluetooth devices.11 wireless NICs and access points. For the past decade. In this mode. it must first locate those wireless NICs or access points. active and passive scanning techniques are supported in the MAC. The received encrypted data frames are decrypted using the same encryption algorithm employed by the sending unit.11-compliant products shipping today support key lengths of up to 128 bits. The 2.11 network. In order for a mobile station to communicate with other mobile wireless NICs in a given service area.11 is RC4. many WLAN OEMs support both methods and variants to differentiate their products in the market. Passive scanning involves listening for traffic only on an 802. Although passive scanning expends minimal power. on the other hand. Active scanning allows the mobile wireless NIC to interact with another wireless NIC or access point. When developing WLAN systems. The standard specifies a 40-bit key.11 network while minimizing DC power consumption. The encryption algorithm used by 802. The 802. The mechanism. The 5-GHz band is also less susceptible to interference. dubbed wired equivalent privacy (WEP).11 specification. is an encryption engine that takes the contents of the entire data frame and passes them through an encryption algorithm.483 GHz.40 .4-GHz band provides 83 MHz of total contiguous bandwidth. Active scanning. unlike the 2. 2000 Page 6 . the wireless NIC listens for special frames called beacons and probe responses.4 to 2. To enable communication between the mobile station and the NIC.

a few things to consider when switching to 5 GHz. Efforts are under way by IEEE 802 and ESTI together with the ITU-R to harmonize a global allocation of 5-GHz spectrum for WLANs. The first is that the frequency allocation isn't contiguous across the band. in order to achieve the same effective range as covered in the 2. A total of 455 MHz of spectrum is allocated for Hiperlan radios. 5-Ghz frequency spectrum allocation It's important to point out that although the PHY specifications for IEEE 802.11 began evaluating proposals for 802. the working group adopted a joint proposal from NTT and Lucent that recommended orthogonal frequency December. Figure 3. the transmit power of a 5-GHz system must be slightly increased.11a. Secondly. The bandwidth is fragmented into two blocks that are noncontiguous across the 5-GHz band. radios compliant with the 802. In Europe.40 .11a specification are not allowed to operate in the 5-GHz band according to ETSI rules.4-GHz band.OFDM for Wireless Networks There are.11a are similar to the Hiperlan2. As a designer of 5-GHz radios. only Hiperlan WLANs are allowed to operate in the 5-GHz frequency band. The frequency spectrum allocations for each of the geographic regions are shown in Figure 3. these issues must be carefully considered in product development. 2000 Page 7 . 300 MHz of bandwidth is allocated in the 5-GHz band to WLANs under the rules of the Unlicensed-National Information Infrastructure (U-NII). however. Global harmonization could occur by late 2001. In the US. and the transmit power levels are restricted depending on which block of frequency is occupied. When the IEEE 802.

11a systems use OFDM techniques. the PHY for 802.11a specification. 2000 Page 8 . But it has been said that by making the convolution encoder a programmable feature in the baseband processor.5. The channels are spaced 20 MHz apart. In the U-NII band. there are 52 subcarriers per channel in the 5-GHz band. which provides excellent performance on channels with delay spread of up to 250 ns. only 48 carry actual data.11a frame format for 5 GHz. For the most part. As figure 2 illustrates. The basic concept is to transmit high data rate information into December. eight carriers are spaced across 200 MHz in the lower spectrum (5. The duration of the guard interval is equal to 800 ns. OFDM was chosen because of its superior performance in combating fading multipath.5. IEEE 802. This is an extremely attractive feature for those who want to develop products for both standards. OFDM is a unique form of multicarrier modulation.40 . particularly in applications that transmit streaming video. which assist in phase tracking for coherent demodulation. ESTI was charging ahead with a 5-GHz WLAN project called Hiperlan2. The channel scheme used for 5 GHz is illustrated in figure 4. To efficiently use the spectrum provided in the 5-GHz range.725 . The remaining four subcarriers are used as pilot tones.825 GHz). The differences between the two standards are minimal and reside in the method by which convolution encoding is used to generate the OFDM symbols and data rates. designers of IEEE 802. During the development of the 802. This battle is extremely important. Figure 4. Of these channels.350 GHz) and four carriers are spaced across 100 MHz in the upper spectrum (5. the same silicon can be used to support both standards.150 . which allows for high bit rates per channel. the MAC layers are very different. Unfortunately.OFDM for Wireless Networks division multiplexing (OFDM) as the baseline technology for 5-GHz WLAN systems.11a is similar to Hiperlan2. They too adopted OFDM.

The first field of the PLCP header is called the preamble. QPSK. and 16-QAM modulations with convolution encoding (R = 1/2 and constraint length seven) to generate data rates of 6.11a standard. For example. This rate is variable from 6 up to 54 Mbps. The structure of the packet data frame is illustrated in figure 5. December. OFDM is also spectrally efficient because the channels are overlapped and contiguous.40 . One of the benefits of OFDM is its strength in fighting the adverse effects of multipath propagation with respect to intersymbol interference in a channel. The packet date frame defined in the 802. During development of the 802. and 24 Mbps. To complement OFDM. the IEEE 802.OFDM for Wireless Networks several interleaved. All other combinations of encoding rates. The OFDM modulation technique is generated through the use of complex signal processing approaches such as fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) and inverse FFTs in the transmitter and receiver sections of the radio. In this way. the channel spectrum is passed into a number of independent. including a wired global standard for asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) and for digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in the European market. the standard allows engineers to combine BPSK.11a specification also offers support for a variety of other modulation and coding alternatives. the IEEE 802.11b specification. The second field is the signal field. OFDM is well tested and has been adopted by a number of standards bodies for several applications. which are used to synchronize the receiver. The preamble consists of 12 symbols. non-selective frequency sub-channels for transmission between wireless NICs and access points. which are optional in the standard. including R = 2/3 and R = 3/4 combined with 64QAM. The signal field is used to indicate the rate at which the OFDM symbols of the PSDU payload are transmitted.11a specification consists of the PHY header.11 working group carefully optimized the PHY for traffic transmitting multimedia content such as streaming video. 12. PHY layer convergence protocol (PLCP) and the payload (PSDU). parallel bit streams and let each of these bit streams modulate a separate sub carrier. The PLCP header is always BPSK modulated and convolution encoded at R = 1/2. 2000 Page 9 . This is similar to the structure used in the IEEE 802. The PSDU packet payload is modulated and transmitted at the rate indicated in the signal field. are used to generate rates up to 54 Mbps.

which include Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS). the CSMA/CA and the CSMA/CD operate differently to resolve the contention. a collision is absolutely occurred because each terminal will transmit immediately at the end of channel busy period. but the CD function is not viable in wireless LANs because the dynamic range of signals in the medium is very large. the throughput and packet delay performance is one of the most critical considerations in the design of a wireless MAC protocol. senses the busy channel. the collision probability between multiple terminals under above situation is reduced since a random backoff arrangement is used to resolve medium contention conflicts. However. In the case of the CSMA/CD. Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) diffused infrared and recently OFDM. packet transmission errors are increased in wireless December. The Collision Detection (CD) function detects collisions in the CSMA/CD. The CSMA/CA is similar to the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) used in a Ethernet. As the Ethernet. if the channel is sensed busy. Since spectrum is a scare resource above all different physical layers. The basic protocol level in the 802. The DCF allows sharing medium between similar and dissimilar systems through the use of the CSMA/CA and a random back off delay algorithm. it waits until the channel goes idle and waits for delay period.11.11a channel scheme 3. the wireless MAC protocol should be transparency to physical layers. While a terminal. IEEE 802. the packet transmission is started immediately in both cases. 2000 Page 10 . In the CSMA/CA. If a channel is sensed idle. operates in the CSMA/CA protocol. Thus. When two or more terminals are waiting to transmit.11 MAC protocol is the Distributed Coordination Function (DCF). Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance Since different physical transmission layers are supported by IEEE 802. when a terminal senses a busy channel. which supports asynchronous communication between multiple users [5].OFDM for Wireless Networks Figure 5. the CSMA/CA uses carrier-sense mechanism to determine whether other terminals are using the medium. which is called backoff delay. it waits until the channel goes idle and then it transmits a packet with probability one.40 .

First. 4WH CSMA/CA: RTS . Propagation Characteristics of mobile radio channels In an ideal radio channel.ACK . medium propagation delay and medium busy detect response time. However in a real channel. the channel adds noise to the signal and can cause a shift in the carrier frequency if the transmitter.ACK . and diffracted replicas of the transmitted signal. The last is 4-Way Handshake (4-WH) CSMA/CA which use Request To Send (RTS) and Clear To Send (CTS) packets prior to the transmission of the actual data packet. so IEEE 802.40 . immediate positive acknowledgements are employed to confirm the successful reception of each packet. which would be a perfect reconstruction of the transmitted signal. the received signal would consist of only a single direct path signal. PIFS is a middle length IFS and is used for terminal polling in time-bounded services. SW CSMA/CA: Data . a Point coordination function IFS (PIFS) and Distributed Coordination function IFS (DIFS).Data . On top of all this. In wireless communication environments. DIFS is the longest IFS and is used as a minimum delay for asynchronous transmission in the contention period. SIFS is the shortest IFS and is used for all immediate response actions which include ac-knowledgement (ACK) packet transmissions. We call this scheme Stop-and-Wait (SW) CSMA/CA. Three kinds of IFS are used to support three backoff priorities such as a Short IFS (SIFS). The IEEE 802.… 2.OFDM for Wireless Networks communication environments. December. The received signal consists of a combination of attenuated.Data . the signal is modified during transmission in the channel. Second. packet transmission suffers from “hidden terminal”. Clear To Send (CTS) packet transmissions and contention-free response packet transmissions. Understanding of these effects on the signal is important because the performance of a radio system is dependent on the radio channel characteristics. reflected.11 MAC protocol supports coexisting asynchronous and time-bounded services using different priority levels with different Inter Frame Space (IFS) delay controls. Basic CSMA/CA: Data – Data .The slot time is the sum of transmitter turn-on time.11 MAC protocol provides three alternative ways of packet transmission flow control [5].… 3. or receiver is moving (Doppler effect).11 MAC is similar to that of Ethernet. A random backoff algorithm of the IEEE 802. actual data packet is only used for packet transmission which is called Basic CSMA/CA. The packet transmission flow of three kinds of CSMA/CA is summarized as follow 1.ACK -… 4. refracted. 2000 Page 11 .CTS .

However. obstructions in the signal path. It is generally caused by buildings and hills. which obstruct the line of sight signal from the transmitter to the receiver. These variations can vary from December. Radio signals diffract off the boundaries of obstructions. 2000 Page 12 . the amount of diffraction is dependent on the radio frequency used. especially. Typical amounts of variation in attenuation due to shadowing are shown in table 1. it is termed slow-fading. To over come the problem of shadowing. Any objects. Shadowing of the signal can occur whenever there is an obstruction between the transmitter and receiver. and microwave signals require line of sight for adequate signal strength.1. hills can cause a large problem due to the large shadow they produce. thus is given the term fast fading. can cause attenuation. Multipath Effects 4. The relative phase of multiple reflected signals can cause constructive or destructive interference at the receiver.40 .OFDM for Wireless Networks 4. the RF signal from the transmitter may be reflected from objects such as hills. buildings. 4. transmitters are usually elevated as high as possible to minimise the number of obstructions. Typical attenuation in a radio channel Shadowed areas tend to be large. due to the shadowing from buildings. Rayleigh fading In a radio link. and is the most important environmental attenuation factor. It can be caused by the transmission path length.1. This is experienced over very short distances (typically at half wavelength distances). or vehicles.2. and multipath effects. resulting in the rate of change of the signal power being slow. This gives rise to multiple transmission paths at the receiver. or log-normal shadowing. For this reason.2. Ultra High Frequencies (UHF). Description Heavily built-up urban center Sub-urban area (fewer large buildings) Open rural area Terrain irregularities and tree foliage Typical Attenuation due to Shadowing 20dB variation from street to street 10dB greater signal power then built-up urban center 20dB greater signal power then sub-urban areas 3-12dB signal power variation Table 1. However. thus preventing total shadowing of the signals behind hills and buildings. Thus high frequency signals. Attenuation Attenuation is the drop in the signal power when transmitting from one point to another. with low frequencies diffracting more then high frequency signals. Shadowing is most severe in heavily built up areas.

2000 Page 13 . It has dips or fades in the response due to reflections causing cancellation of certain frequencies at the receiver. trees. Frequency Selective Fading In any radio transmission. etc) can lead to multipath signals of similar signal power as the direct signal.OFDM for Wireless Networks 10-30dB over a short distance. Cumulative distribution for Rayleigh distribution [11] 4.g. This can result in deep nulls in the received signal power due to destructive interference. buildings.40 . Typical Rayleigh fading while the Mobile Unit is moving (900 MHz)[11] The Rayleigh distribution is commonly used to describe the statistical time varying nature of the received signal power.05 Table 2. It describes the probability of the signal level being received due to fading.2. Signal Level (dB about median) 10 0 -10 -20 -30 % Probability of Signal Level being less than the value given 99 50 5 0. ground. December. Figure 6 shows the level of attenuation that can occur due to the fading. Figure 6.5 0. Reflections off near-by objects (e. the channel spectral response is not flat.2. Table 2 shows the probability of the signal level for the Rayleigh distribution.

Delay Spread The received radio signal from a transmitter consists of typically a direct signal. This will result in only some of the carriers being lost. By transmitting a wide bandwidth signal or spread spectrum as CDMA. This is due to the delayed multipath signal overlapping with the following symbols. thus spreading the received energy. Delay spread is the time spread between the arrival of the first and last multipath signal seen by the receiver. as is done in a COFDM/OFDM transmission. 2000 Page 14 . In a digital system. any dips in the spectrum only result in a small loss of signal power. especially when using time division multiplexing (TDMA). mountings. any nulls in the spectrum are unlikely to occur at all of the carrier frequencies. The information in the lost carriers can be recovered provided enough forward error corrections is sent. The reflected signals arrive at a later time than the direct signal because of the extra path length. The original signal is spread over a wide bandwidth thus. This can cause significant errors in high bit rate systems.OFDM for Wireless Networks For narrow bandwidth transmissions if the null in the frequency response occurs at the transmission frequency then the entire signal can be lost. December.3. The effect starts to become very significant when the delay spread is greater then ~50% of the bit time. the delay spread can lead to inter-symbol interference. Figure 7 shows the effect of inter-symbol interference due to delay spread on the received signal.40 . and other structures. This can be partly overcome in two ways. rather than a complete loss. rather then the entire signal. plus reflections of object such as buildings. 4. giving rise to a slightly different arrival time of the transmitted pulse. As the transmitted bit rate is increased the amount of intersymbol interference also increases. Another method is to split the transmission up into many small bandwidth carriers.

Typical Delay Spread [11] Inter-symbol interference can be minimized in several ways. When they are moving toward each other the frequency of the received signal is higher then the source. split the bandwidth into more channels using frequency division multiplexing). This is called the Doppler effect.20usec Maximum Path Length Difference 12m . An December. 4.e.60 m 300m .40 . Another is to use a coding scheme.OFDM for Wireless Networks Figure 7. Multipath Delay Spread Table 3 shows the typical delay spread that can occur in various environments. which is tolerant to intersymbol interference such as CDMA. One method is to reduce the symbol rate by reducing the data rate for each channel (i. The maximum delay spread in an outdoor environment is approximately 20µsec.4. 2000 Page 15 . Environment or cause Indoor (room) Outdoor Delay Spread 40nsec 200nsec 1usec . and when they are approaching each other the frequency decreases.6km Table 3. Doppler Shift When a wave source and a receiver are moving relative to one another the frequency of the received signal will not be the same as the source. thus significant intersymbol interference can occur at bit rates as low as 25kbps.

v is the speed difference between the source and transmitter.1.9 GHz. the OFDM symbol is cyclically extended to avoid intercarrier interference. and c is the speed of light. the Doppler shift will be double.22m / s = 437 Hz 3 x10 8 m / s This shift of 437Hz in the carrier will generally not effect the transmission. However. The relative amount of dispersion in time caused by multipath delay spread is decreased because the symbol duration increases for lower rate parallel subcarriers. Doppler shift can cause significant problems if the transmission technique is sensitive to carrier frequency offsets or the relative speed is higher. General Structure The basic principle of OFDM is to split a high-rate datastream into a number of lower rate streams that are transmitted simultaneously over a number of subcarriers.9 x10 9 Hertz 22. which is the case for OFDM.40 . The amount the frequency changes due to the Doppler effect depends on the relative motion between the source and receiver and on the speed of propagation of the wave. An OFDM signal is a sum of subcarriers that are individually modulated by using phase shift keying (PSK) or quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). and v = 80km/hr = 22. each one with a speed of 80 km/hr. The Doppler shift in frequency can be written: [10] ∆f ≈ ± f 0 v c where ∆f is the change in frequency of the source seen at the receiver.22m/s (50 miles/hr aprox) then the Doppler shift will be: f 0 = 5. 5. OFDM 5. This means that in the guard time.OFDM for Wireless Networks example of this is the change of pitch in a car’s horn as it approaches then passes by. This effect becomes important when developing mobile radio systems. The other problem to solve is the intersymbol interference. If we consider now a link between to cars moving in opposite directions. 2000 Page 16 . For example: Let fo= 5. fo is the frequency of the source. which is eliminated almost completely by introducing a guard time in every OFDM symbol. The symbol can be written as: December.

the real and imaginary parts correspond to the in-phase and quadrature parts of the OFDM signal. t < t S and t > t S + T In this case. tS ≤ t ≤ tS + T (1) s (t ) = 0. t S ≤ t ≤ t S + T T ïi = − N S ï î 2 þ s (t ) = 0. this transform can be implemented very efficiently by the inverse fast Fourier transform (IFFT). The IFFT drastically reduces the amount of calculations by exploiting the regularity of the operations in the IDFT. t < t S and t > t S + T where : NS is the number of subcarriers T is the symbol duration fc is the carrier frequency The equivalent complex baseband notation is given by: s (t ) = NS −1 2 i =− NS 2 åd i+ N S / 2 exp( j 2π i (t − t s )) T . They have to be multiplied by a cosine and sine of the desired frequency to produce the final OFDM signal.40 . exp(-jπ(NS-2)(t-ts)/T) OFDM signal Figure 8 OFDM modulator The complex baseband OFDM signal defined the equation (1) is the inverse Fourier transform of Ns QAM input symbols. . Figure 8 shows the block diagram for the OFDM modulator. . 2000 Page 17 .OFDM for Wireless Networks ì N2S −1 ü i + 0. exp(-jπNS(t-ts)/T) Serial QAM data to Parallel . December.5 ï ï s (t ) = Reí å d i + N S / 2 exp( j 2π ( f c − )(t − t s ))ý . In practice. The time discrete case is the inverse discrete Fourier transform.

Of course.40 . amplified.OFDM for Wireless Networks 5. The output is converted to serial and a cyclic extension is added to make the system robust to multipath propagation. December. In fact. the signal can be applied to a Fast Fourier Transform to recover the 52 QAM values of all subcarriers. which is upconverted to the 5 GHz band. including the transmitter and the receiver. This makes it possible to use the same hardware for both the transmitter and the receiver. and finally a Viterbi decoder decodes the information bits. The IFFT modulates a block of input QAM values onto a number of subcarriers. Windowing is applied after to get a narrower output spectrum. The QAM values are then demapped into binary values. using special training symbols in the preamble. the IFFT can be made using an FFT by conjugating input and output of the FFT and dividing the output by the FFT size. In the receiver. These two operations are almost identical. the subcarriers are demodulated by the FFT. and transmitted through the antenna. the binary values are converted to QAM values.2. binary input data is encoded by a rate ½ convolutional encoder. Basically. this saving in complexity is only possible when the modem does not have to transmit and receive simultaneously. 2000 Page 18 . with additional training tasks. the receiver performs the reverse operations of the transmitter. The training symbols and the pilot subcarriers are used to correct for the channel response as well as remaining phase drift. the signal is converted to analog. the OFDM signal for the standard IEEE 802. which is the case for the standard. which is the reverse operation of the IFFT. In the first step. The symbol is modulated onto 52 subcarriers by applying the Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT). After interleaving. the receiver has to estimate frequency offset and symbol timing. Implementation In practice.11a is generated as follows: In the transmitter. resulting in a total of 52 QAM values per OFDM symbol. After removing the cyclic extension. Four pilot values are added each 48 data values. Figure 9 shows the block diagram of an OFDM modem. Using an IQ modulator. The rate can be increased to 2/3 and ¾.

for OFDM) are as follows: Data rate (Mbits/s) 6 9 12 18 24 36 48 54 Modulation Coding rate (R) 1/2 3/4 1/2 3/4 1/2 3/4 2/3 3/4 Coded bits per subcarrier (NBPSC) 1 1 2 2 4 4 6 6 Coded bits per OFDM symbol (NCBPS) 48 48 96 96 192 192 288 288 Data bits per OFDM symbol (NDBPS) 24 36 48 72 96 144 192 216 BPSK BPSK QPSK QPSK 16-QAM 16-QAM 64-QAM 64-QAM Table 4.40 .g. December. Physical layer parameters. 2000 Page 19 . the parameters for the physical layer (e.OFDM for Wireless Networks IQ modulator HPA Add cyclic extension and windowing FEC Encoder Binary input data Interleaving QAM Mapping Pilot Insertion Serial to Parallel IFFT (TX) Parallel to Serial FFT(RX) FEC Decoder Binary output data Deinterleaving QAM demapping Channel Correction Parallel to Serial Serial to Parallel AGC Amp IQ Detector Timing and frequency synchronization Frequency corrected signal Remove cyclic extension LNA AFC Clock Recovery Symbol timing Figure 9.11a. Block diagram of an OFDM transceiver In case of the standard IEEE 802.

the constellation is seriously affected and an unacceptable error rate is obtained.OFDM for Wireless Networks Parameter NSD : Number of data subcarriers NSP : Number of pilot subcarriers NS : Number of subcarriers. Windowing Essentially. but the interference is still small enough to get a reasonable constellation. Guard time and cyclic extension One of the most important problems in for wireless communications is the multipath delay spread. OFDM deals with it very efficiently. 2000 Page 20 . 5. The guard time is chosen larger than the expected delay spread such that multipath components from one symbol cannot interfere with the next symbol. the subcarriers are not orthogonal anymore. This means that the out-of-band spectrum decreases rather slowly. which also reduces the relative multipath delay spread. the delay replicas of the OFDM symbol always have an integer number of cycles within the FFT interval.0 µs (TGI + TFFT) 0. The intersymbolic interference is almost completely eliminated by introducing a guard time for a each OFDM symbol. by the same factor. total ∆F : Subcarrier frequency spacing TFFT : IFFT/FFT period TPREAMBLE : PLCP preamble duration TSIGNAL : Duration of the SIGNAL BPSK-OFDM symbol TGI : GI duration TGI2 : Training symbol GI duration TSYM : Symbol interval TSHORT : Short training sequence duration TLONG : Long training sequence duration Table 5.1. Then. Considering that the multipath delay exceeds the guard time by 10% of the FFT interval. the OFDM symbol is cyclically extended in the guard time. The parallel transmission implies that the input datastream is divided in NS subcarriers and the symbol duration is made NS times smaller. an OFDM signal consists of a number of unfiltered QAM subcarriers. as long as the delay is smaller than the guard time. Physical layer parameters. relative to the symbol time. If multipath delay exceeds the guard time by a small fraction of the FFT interval (for example 3%).40 . following a sinc December.8 µs (TFFT /4) 1. Value 48 4 52 (NSD + NSP) 0.2 µs (1/∆F) 16 µs (TSHORT + TLONG) 4. Using this method.2. This guard time could be no signal at all but the problem of intercarrier interference (ICI) would arise.6 µs (TFFT /2) 4 µs (TGI + TFFT) 8 µs (10 ×TFFT /4) 8 µs (TGI2 + 2×TFFT) 5. Multipath signals with delays smaller than the guard time cannot cause ICI.2.2.3125 MHz (=20 MHz/64) 3.

the spectrum goes down rapidly in the beginning. In particular. as it can be seen in Figure .OFDM for Wireless Networks function. 5 ïsin ç ÷÷ ç2ç T TR ø ø ï è è î for (− for ( TTR T < t < TR ) 2 2 (2) TTR T ≤ t < T − TR ) 2 2 TTR T ≤ t < T + TR ) 2 2 for (T − considering that TTR is the transition time between two consecutive periods of FFT. 2000 Page 21 . To make the spectrum decrease faster. The standard doesn’t specify the kind of window to be used but an example is included using the following function [5]: ì 2æπ æ t öö ÷ ç ÷ + 0 . For larger number of subcarriers. OFDM frame with cyclic extension and windowing for (a) single reception or (b) two receptions of the FFT period Figure 10 also illustrates the possibility of extending the windowing function over more than one period. window functions that extend over multiple periods of the FFT are utilized in the definition of the preamble. which is caused by the fact that the sidelobes are closer together. TFFT . December.40 . 5 ïsin ç ÷÷ ç2ç T TR ø ø ï è è ï ï wT (t ) = í1 ï ï 2æπ æ t − T öö ÷ ç ÷ − 0 . Figure 10. and additionally shows smoothed transitions by application of a windowing function. as exemplified in Equation (2). windowing is applied to the OFDM signal.

Hamming.3. Blackman and Kaiser. considering the resulting stopband attenuation and the transition bandwidth.OFDM for Wireless Networks Several other conventional windows were simulated including raised cosine. The convolutional encoder uses the industry-standard generator polynomials. Block Codes December. such as packet voice or data communications. which lowers the effective code rate. block codes may be more desirable in certain applications. 2/3.1. 5. and inserting a dummy “zero” metric into the convolutional decoder on the receive side in place of the omitted bits. Forward Error Correction Coding According to the standard. as shown in Figure 11. Decoding by the Viterbi algorithm is recommended. or 3/4. Even thought the convolutional code is established by the standard. since the memory of the convolutional codes must be brought to a known state to terminate the trellis. The best performance was obtained for the Blackman window. data must be encoded with a convolutional encoder of coding rate R = 1/2. Hann. Output data A Input data Tb Tb Tb Tb Tb Tb Tb Output data B Figure 11. corresponding to the desired data rate. Higher rates are derived from it by employing “puncturing”.3. g0 = 1338 and g1 = 1718 of rate R = 1/2. 5.40 . in which the length of the packet may be made equal to a multiple of the code length. block codes are more attractive than convolutional codes. 2000 Page 22 . Convolutional encoder (k = 7) The bit denoted as “A” shall be output from the encoder before the bit denoted as “B”. In these applications. Puncturing is a procedure for omitting some of the encoded bits in the transmitter reducing the number of transmitted bits and increasing the coding rate.

which is the minimum number of different symbols between any pair of code words. Reed– December. Using the Viterbi algorithm with soft decision it results a very attractive implementation. so a maximum amount of m floor((nk)/2) erroneous bits may be corrected. A class of nonbinary codes that doesn’t reach the above bound are the ReedSolomon codes. If the Reed-Solomon code is designed to correct up to two symbol errors containing 8 bits per symbol. with n being larger than k. Each symbol contains m bits. a ReedSolomon code can easily be shortened to any arbitrary length by leaving a number of input bits zero and deleting the same amount of output bits. Reed-Solomon codes are defined for block symbols with m bits per symbol.40 . the code can correct t errors where t is given by: æ d −1ö t ≤ floor ç min ÷ (3) è 2 ø The minimum Hamming distance is upperbound by the number of redundant symbols n-k as: d min ≤ n − k + 1 (4) For binary codes. 2000 Page 23 . Using the results from [7]. This characteristic makes Reed-Solomon codes particularly useful for correcting bursty channels.OFDM for Wireless Networks A block code encodes a block of k input symbols into n coded symbols. The purpose of adding the redundant n-k symbols is to increase the minimum Hamming distance. Another block codes is the Reed-Muller code [6]. Using equations (3) and (4). only repetition codes and single-parity check codes reach this upperbound. a Reed-Solomon code can correct up to floor ((n-k)/2) erroneous symbols. the performance of this code can be evaluated and compared with that of convolutional codes. Because of their good distance properties and the availability of efficient coding and decoding algorithms. Also. Reed-Solomon codes are the most popularly used block codes. compared with other block codes. For a minimum Hamming distance of dmin. as these errors can occur in three different symbols. The OFDM link in presence of fading multipath is a very good application for this code. It is also possible to extend the code length to a power of 2 by adding an extra parity symbol. where the code length n is related to m by: The number of input symbols k is related to m and the required minimum Hamming distance dmin as: k = 2 m − d min n = 2m −1 There appears to be little flexibility in the available code lengths. it cannot correct an arbitrary combination of three bit errors. However.

At the transmitter. which makes sure that adjacent bits are separated by several bits after interleaving. Figure compares the performance of the (16. NCBPS. the OFDM subcarriers generally have different amplitudes. thereby causing bit errors to occur in bursts rather than being randomly scattered. BER of the (16. According to the standard. memory 2 and 3 punctured convolutional codes [8].4) RM code and rate 2/3 memory 2 and 3 5. Figure 12. long runs of low reliability (LSB) bits are avoided.4) RM code falls midway between that of the two convolutional codes. This figure shows that the performance curve of the (16. December. all data bits must be interleaved by a block interleaver with a block size corresponding to the number of bits in a single OFDM symbol. the coded bits are permuted in a certain way. Interleaving Because of the frequency fading of typical radio channels. The second ensures that adjacent coded bits are mapped alternately onto less and more significant bits of the constellation and. thereby.11.11. 2000 Page 24 .40 .4. The interleaver is defined by a two-step permutation. The first permutation ensures that adjacent coded bits are mapped onto nonadjacent subcarriers.11.OFDM for Wireless Networks Muller codes are preferable where soft decision decoding is required since they have a simple structure. resulting in computationally manageable decoding. Deep fades in the spectrum may cause groups of subcarriers to be less reliable than others. Interleaving is applied to randomize the occurrence of bit errors prior to decoding.4) RM code with rate 2/3.

NCBPS–1 The function floor (.OFDM for Wireless Networks Considering k the index of the coded bit before the first permutation.1.1.1) The deinterleaver. is also defined by two permutations.….… NCBPS–1 The value of s is determined by the number of coded bits per subcarrier. Here. The interleaver cyclically writes each input symbol or bit into one of the K shift registers that introduce a delay of 0 to k-1 symbol durations. the first permutation is defined by the rule: i = (NCBPS/16) (k mod 16) + floor(k/16) k = 0. I the index after the first and before the second permutation. according to: s = max(NBPSC /2. it is possible to use a convolutional interleaver.1) The second permutation is defined by the rule: k = 16 × i –(NCBPS–1)floor(16 × i/NCBPS) i = 0.1.… NCBPS–1 Instead of a block interleaver. The first permutation is defined by the rule: i = s × floor(j/s) + (j + floor(16 × j/NCBPS)) mod s where s = max(NBPSC /2.… NCBPS–1 j = 0. just prior to modulation mapping. The second permutation is defined by the rule: j = s × floor(i/s) + (i + NCBPS–floor(16 × i/NCBPS)) mod s i=0. just prior to delivering the coded bits to the convolutional (Viterbi) decoder.40 . and k the index after the second permutation. December. Figure 13 shows a convolutional interleaver. which performs the inverse relation. j denotes the index of the original received bit before the first permutation. i the index after the first and before the second permutation and j the index after the second permutation. 2000 Page 25 .) denotes the largest integer not exceeding the parameter. NBPSC.1.

T Delay Conjugation Phase of maximum Frequency offset OFDM signal TG ò dt Maximum correlation Timming Figure 14. Further. for coherent receivers. this property can be exploited for both timing and frequency synchronization. This means that the subcarries are not perfectly orthogonal. which immediately results in ICI. the carrier phase has to be synchronized.40 . The second task is to estimate and correct the carrier frequcncy offset of the received signal to avoid the ICI.OFDM for Wireless Networks T Input data T T Output data T T T T T Figure 13. Convolutional interleaver 6. Usually. The first one is to find out where the symbol boundaries are and what the optimal timing instants are to minimize the effects of intercarrier interference (ICI) and intersymbol interference (ISI). the OFDM received signal has a frequency offset. a coherent QAM receiver needs to detect the amplitudes and phases of all subcarriers to define the decision boundaries for the QAM cosntellation of each subcarrier. using a system showed in figure 14. Using the cyclic prefix an considering that the first TG seconds of each symbol is identical to the last part. 2000 Page 26 . it has to perform at least two synchronization tasks. producing phase noise. Synchronization Before an OFDM receiver can demodulate the subcarriers. Also. Synchronization using the cyclic prefix December.

the ratio of sidelobes-topeak amplitude will go to zero. In the extreme case where the correlation is performed over only one sample. which may reach a value that is larger than the desired correlation peak. 2000 Page 27 . the smaller the standard deviation is. corresponding to the different symbols and the peak amplitudes show a significant variation. The output can be written as [12]: x(t ) = ò r (t − τ )r (t − τ − T )dτ 0 TG The correlation function produce several peaks. These sidelobes reflect the correlation between two pieces of the OFDM signal that belong partly or totally to two different OFDM symbols. Another effect is the level of the undesired correlation sidelobes between the main correlation peaks. Hence. the output magnitude is proportional to the signal power. or special training symbols with different PN sequences on odd and even subcarrier frequencies to identify a frequency offset of an integer number of subcarrier spacings [13]. An exception to this is the case where instead of random data symbols. The level of undesired correlation sidelobes can be minimized by a proper selection of the training symbols. The phase of the correlation output is equal to the phase drift between samples that are T seconds apart. In this case. the frequency offset can simply be found as the correlation phase divided by 2πT. specially designed training symbols are used. shorter symbols can be used. The reason for this is that although the average power for a T-seconds interval of each OFDM symbol is constant. The larger the number of independent samples. the cyclic extension correlation technique is only effective when a large number of subcarriers are used. and there is no distinct correlation peak in this case. Because different OFDM symbols contain independent data values. the power in the guard time can substantially vary from this average power level. preferably more than 100.40 . To increase this maximum range. In the other extreme case where the correlation is performed over a very large number of samples. This method works up to a maximum absolute frequency offset of half the subcarrier spacing.OFDM for Wireless Networks This device correlates a TG long part of the signal with a part that is T seconds delayed. The noise performance of the frequency offset estimator is now determined for an input signal r(t) that consists of an OFDM signal s(t) with power P and additive Gaussian noise n(t) with a one-sided noise power spectral density of N0 within the bandwidth of the OFDM signal: r(t) = s(t) + n(t) December. the correlation output is a random variable. The standard deviation of the random correlation magnitude is related to the number of independent samples over which the correlation is performed. the integration can be done over the entire symbol duration instead of the guard time only. Because the number of independent samples is proportional to the number of subcarriers.

the power of the two terms is equal to twice the product of signal power and noise power. Because the desired output component of ( ) is a constant vector. showing effect of noise on the received phase angle December. and because noise samples separated by T seconds are uncorrelated. Assuming that the squared noise component may be neglected. the output SNR is approximated as [13]. 2000 Page 28 .T)s(t) + n(t)n*(t . and the length of the noise vector be A with angle f. the power of the last term is equal to the squared noise power. Because the signal and noise are uncorrelated.T) = |s(t)|2 exp(jφ) + n(t)s*(t . SNR0 ≅ PT P2 = G 2 PN 0 / TG 2 N 0 Figure show the effect of noise on the received phase angle. the power of the squared noise component becomes negligible compared with the power of the other two noise terms. If the input SNR is much larger than one. The frequency offset is estimated by averaging y(t) over an interval equal to the guard time TG and then estimating the phase of y(t). The next two terms are products of the signal and the Gaussian noise.OFDM for Wireless Networks The frequency offset estimator multiplies the signal by a delayed and conjugated version of the input to produce an intermediate signal y(t) given by [13] y(t) = r(t)r*(t . Finally. If we let the amplitude of the transmitted signal be 1. Figure 15. Received phasor.T)+ n*(t .T) (5) The first term in the right-hand side of the equation 5 is the desired output component with a phase equal to the phase drift over a T-second interval and a power equal to the squared signal power.40 . then the received phase error is θerr. averaging reduces the noise that is added to this vector.

there is a drawback because an accurate synchronization needs an averaging over a large (>10) number of OFDM symbols to attain a distinct correlation peak and a reasonable SNR. where no special training signals are available. whereas the cyclic extension method only uses a fraction of each symbol. Therefore.40 . Synchronization Using Special Training Symbols The synchronization technique based on the cyclic extension is particularly suited to tracking or to blind synchronization in a circuit-switched connection. 2000 Page 29 . For high-rate packet transmission. the synchronization time needs to be as short as possible. Since. special OFDM t symbols can be used for which the data content is known to the receiver. For packet transmission. December.OFDM for Wireless Networks Using trigonometry. Substituting this in. Since the signal is scaled to an amplitude of 1. The signal to ratio determines the relative amplitude of the received signal and the noise level. To achieve this. 6.1. the entire received training signal can be used to achieve synchronization. however. In this. the amplitude of the noise is: The SNR is base on the amplitudes of the signals thus must be scaled correctly when converting it to dB. preferably a few OFDM symbols only.

0. December. 0. 0. –1–j. 0. 0. 0. –1. 1. 1} This information is used. 1.. A short OFDM training symbol consists of 12 subcarriers. 1+j. –1. 0. 1+j. 0.40 . –1. 0. –1. 0. –1. 26 = 13 / 6 × {0. 0. 0. The interval TSHORT is equal to ten 0. shown in figure 16. Figure 16. also. which are modulated by the elements of the sequence L. 1. 0. given by L–26. 1. –1. given by S–26. the physical layer convergence procedure (PLCP) preamble field is used for synchronization. The PLCP preamble is followed by the SIGNAL field and DATA. –1. –1. 8 µs). –1.8 µs periods (i. 0. 0. The total training length is 16 µs. –1. 1. –1. 1+j. 0. –1. The fact that only spectral lines of S–26:26 with indices that are a multiple of 4 have nonzero amplitude results in a periodicity of TFFT/4 = 0. 1. 1. 1.OFDM for Wireless Networks According to [5]. 0. –1. 0. 0. –1. –1. 1. 1. where t1 to t10 denote short training symbols and T1 and T2 denote long training symbols. 26 = {1.1. OFDM training structure Figure 16 shows the OFDM training structure (PLCP preamble). 0. to estimate the channel and to improve the system performance. –1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 0. It consists of 10 short symbols and 2 long symbols. 0. 0. 1. 1. 0. 0. –1–j.e. which are modulated by the elements of the sequence S. 1. 1. 0. 1. 0. –1. –1–j. 0. 0. 0. 1+j. –1. –1.0} The multiplication by a factor of is in 13 / 6 order to normalize the average power of the resulting OFDM symbol. 1. 0. 1. –1–j. 1. 1+j. –1. 0. 0. 0. A long OFDM training symbol consists of 53 subcarriers plus a zero value at dc. 2000 Page 30 . 1+j. 0. 0. 0.8 µs. The dashed boundaries in the figure denote repetitions due to the periodicity of the inverse Fourier transform. 1. 0. 0. –1–j. 1. 1. –1. 1. which utilizes 12 out of 52 subcarriers. 1.0. 1. 1+j.

40 . the operation involved in acquiring an initial frequency offset estimate coincides with the search operation for the training symbols transmitted on the channel. To estimate the bits December. During the tracking mode. like [14]. 2000 Page 31 . frequency estimation algorithms derived from maximum likelihood theory [14] can be used in this case. The acquisition rule is based on the fact that the magnitude of the correlation function reaches a maximum. the data bits are modulated on the subcarriers by some form of phase shift keying (PSK) or quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). In several papers. ∆F=0. only small frequency fluctuations have to be corrected.OFDM for Wireless Networks The receiver has to perform two operations: tracking and acquisition. it may be necessary to correct the frequency offset prior to the demodulation even during the tracking mode. They should be spread uniformly over the whole frequency domain. During the tracking mode. That is how the standard implement it. Considering just one subchannel. But during the acquisition mode the frequency offset can take large values. The acquisition time is directly proportional to the frequency range to be scanned. then this frequency synchronization problem is similar to that in case of single carrier problem. The influence of the modulation is removed in this case by the multiplication with the conjugate complex value of the transmitted symbols. The underlying principle of these frequency algorithms is that the frequency estimation problem can be reduced to a phase estimation problem by considering the phase shift between two subsequent subchannel samples. This is the most challenging task to be managed by the synchronizer structure. The known symbols are taken from the training sequence and the pilot signals. it is recommended to transmit the synchronization sequences in different channels instead of doing it over a single subchannel. Using the same training synchronization symbols from the pilot signals.3125MHz [5]). The acquisition process should be performed fast. with ∆F representing the subcarrier frequency spacing (for the standard. it can be assume that the remaining frequency offset is substantially smaller than ∆F/2. The special acquisition training preamble should be avoided to increase the transmission efficiency. this will depend on the maximum magnitude of the frequency offset which the tracking unit has to cope with. depending of the expected Doppler value in the channel. It is theoretically possible to correct a small offset on the subchannel level. In practice. 7. In order to avoid a large decoder performance degradation due to the crosstalk. if the estimation coincides with the received frequency. Detection In an OFDM link. Equations (6) and (7) in [15] describe generalized estimators for this cases. Therefore.

and timing offset. so this last case will not be treated. which is not the case for the standard IEEE 802. Differential detection implies differential encoding. caused by carrier frequency offset. Differential detection can be done both in the time domain and in the frequency domain. 7. For each symbol. The first one is coherent detection. such that the QAM symbols can be converted to binary soft decisions. two different approaches exist. It is the task of the channel estimation block to learn the reference phases and amplitudes for all subcarriers. In general. which does not use absolute reference values. local oscillator drift. RF Receiver ADC FFT Coherent Detection Deinterleaving Decoding Binary Output Data Channel Estimation Figure 17. After downconversion and analog-to-digital conversion. Coherent Detection Figure 17 shows a block diagram of a coherent OFDM receiver. timing offset. knowledge is required about the reference phase and amplitude of the constellation on each subcarrier. and frequency selective fading. each subcarrier is compared with the adjacent subcarrier within the same OFDM symbol. the constellation of each subcarrier shows a random phase shift and amplitude change. which uses estimates of the reference amplitudes and phases to determine the best possible decision boundaries for the constellation of each subcarrier.11a.OFDM for Wireless Networks at the receiver.1. The main issue with coherent detection is how to find the reference values without introducing too much training overhead. The second approach is differential detection.40 . these values contain random phase shifts and amplitude variations caused by the channel response. 2000 Page 32 . Block diagram of an OFDM receiver with coherent detection. In the case of differential detection in the frequency domain. the fast Fourier transform (FFT) is used to demodulate the N subcarriers of the OFDM signal. each subcarrier is compared with the subcarrier of the previous OFDM symbol. December. the FFT output contains N QAM values. To cope with these unknown phase and amplitude variations. In the first case. but only looks at the phase and/or amplitude differences between two QAM values. However.

there are several algorithms to estimate the OFDM channel the one explained in [12].375MHz (21×0. and considering that the pilot signals are transmitted continuously. For the case of OFDM. the pilot density is a tradeoff between channel estimation performance and SNR loss.2.The contribution of the pilot subcarriers for the nth OFDM symbol is produced by Fourier transform of sequence P. By choosing the pilot spacing much smaller than these minimum requirements. the pilots must be BPSK modulated by a pseudo binary sequence to prevent the generation of spectral lines.40 . the signal has 4 subcarriers containing known pilot values to allow the estimation. the pilot spacing has to fulfill the Nyquist sampling theorem. which states that the sampling interval must be smaller than the inverse of the double-sided bandwidth of the sampled signal. 2000 Page 33 . The spacing in frequency imposes a limit to the delay spread. According to it. Two-Dimensional Channel Estimators In general. In the literature. we need to find the bandwidth of the channel variation in time and frequency. One way to do this is to use a two-dimensional channel estimator that estimates the reference values based on a few known pilot values. This algorithm can be used with the parameters indicated by the standard. The pilots signal are the subcarriers number –21. To determine the minimum pilot spacing in time and frequency. These bandwidths are equal to the Doppler spread Bd in the time domain and the maximum delay spread τmax in the frequency domain [16]. the pilot spacing in time is not a limitation. This means that the spacing between pilots is 4. Hence. given by: December. radio channels are fading both in time and in frequency. Hence. The more pilots are used. To be able to interpolate the channel estimates both in time and frequency from the available pilots. the maximum delay spread τmax to be allowed is 228 nsec. the smaller the effective SNR. In terms of Doppler effect. however. a good channel estimation can be made with a relatively easy algorithm. 7 and 21. the requirements for the pilot spacings in time and frequency st and sf are st < 1/Bd sf < 1/τmax These simple equations can be used to estimate the theoretical limits of the standard. Hence. In this case.3125MHz). a channel estimator has to estimate time-varying amplitudes and phases of all subcarriers. this means that there exist both a minimum subcarrier spacing and a minimum symbol spacing between pilots.OFDM for Wireless Networks 7. In these conditions. becomes that is available for data symbols. -7.

-1.-1.-1.1.1.-1.1. -1. -1. 1.-1. Even thought the standard has previsions about it. These techniques are especially suitable for continuous transmission systems such as Digital Audio Broadcasting or Digital Video Broadcasting.1. -1. 0.1. 0. -1.-1.1.1.1.-1.-1.1.-1.-1. 1.1. -1. -1. -1. -1. 0.1. 0. 1. 1.1.0.-1.1.1. 0. 0. 0.-1.-1.1. 0. X7 X6 X5 X4 X3 X2 X1 Output Sequence Figure 18. 0.1. -1.1.1. 0. 0.1.-1. 0. 0. 0.1.-1.1.1. -1.-1. 1.1. -1. 0.-1. First. 0. -1.1. Pilot Frequency Allocation The channel estimation techniques were designed to estimate a channel that varied both in time and frequency. 1.1. pn can be generated by the scrambler defined by figure 18 when the “all ones” initial state is used. 0. -1.-1} The sequence. 0. which is a cyclic extension of the 127 elements sequence and is given by: p 0. -1. -1. 0. 0.-1. -1.1. -1. 1. 1.1.-1.-1.-1. 0.-1. 0.1. 0. -1. 0. 0.1. 1.-1. 0. 0.-1.1.1.-1. -1. 1.-1. 0. -1.-1.. 0.-1. 0. according to [12] they are not very suited for packet-type communications for two reasons. 0} The polarity of the pilot subcarriers is controlled by the sequence.40 . 0. 0.1.-1. -1.1. -1. 0. -1.1.126 = {1. -1.1. 0. -1. -1.1.1.1. Pilot Sequence Generator The subcarrier frequency allocation is shown in figure 19.-1.1. –1. 0. 0. p n . 1. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0.1.1.1. 1. 1.-1.1. 0. 1. 26 = {0. 0. 0. 0.OFDM for Wireless Networks P –26. Each sequence element is used for one OFDM symbol. -1.1.1.-1.-1. and by replacing all “1’s” with –1 and all “0’s” with 1. -1. 0. -1. in many packet transmission December.1.1. 2000 Page 34 .1.1. Figure 19. 0. 1. -1.

In a multicarrier system there exist a unique opportunity to determine various parts of the channel impulse response. such as wireless LAN.g. The spacing between the pilot symbols shall be chosen small enough to enable reliable channel estimates but large enough not to increase the overhead too much. which requires an acknowledgment to be sent after each packet transmission. reliable channel estimates are required. An additional disadvantage is the fact that the receiver needs to buffer several OFDM symbols. Also. December. a base station site. like the signal between a car in movement and an access point in a highway. the pilot signals can be useful to improve the BER.OFDM for Wireless Networks systems. Any delay in the reception of a packet will also delay the acknowledgment and hence decrease the effective throughput of the system. The problem is to decide where and how often to insert pilot symbols.40 . This means that the standard pilot scheme could be redundant. Both the amplitude and phase are corrupted and the channel characteristics changes because of movements of the mobile.11 wireless LAN. which greatly simplifies the channel estimation problem. vehicle movements is highly dependent on the pilot pattern used. 2000 Page 35 . For a given propagation environment. This means there is no need to estimate time fading. The mobile channel introduces multipath distortion of the signaling waveforms. it is possible to precalculate a suitable pilot pattern. in some cases. This is an alternative to improve the standard performance in terms of throughput. possible to handle 10 times higher Doppler frequency and to reduce the number of needed pilot symbols the same amount. Alternatively the new pilot pattern could be used to reduce the bit error rate up to a factor 5. even more in a low noise environment. It is no use to make efforts to determine already known parts. The impact of pilot signals was analyzed by Cavers in [17] who made an exhaustive theoretical analysis for single-carrier systems. using pilots scattered over several OFDM data symbols introduces a delay of several symbols before the first channel estimates can be calculated. However. as opposed to a single-carrier system. Such a delay is undesirable in packet transmission like in an IEEE 802. In order to perform coherent detection. Tufvesson and Maseng [18] analyzed several pilot patterns specifically for OFDM systems. He pointed out that it was appropriate that 14% of the sent symbols were pilot symbols to be able to handle large Doppler values (fdTS = 0. arriving to the conclusion that the ability to estimate the channel reliably when it changes due to e. Second. By rearranging the pilot pattern it is.g. e. the packet length is short enough to assume a constant channel during the length of the packet. thereby requiring extra hardware. for applications with fading and strong Doppler effect.05). still retaining the same bit error rate.

OFDM Modulation and Demodulation Run "Parameters. The aim of doing the simulations was to measure the performance of OFDM under different channel conditions.m zerounpad. including those established by the standard.m" in the Workspace before simulation C 1 Re(u) Random int Convolutional Encoder Convolutional Encoder Pulse Block interleave Interleave A-QASK MATLAB Function PIlot Insertion Window Function blackman Serial to parallel Add cyclic Extension MATLAB Function MATLAB Function zeropad Complex to Real Time Scope Random Data Generator Mapping IQ Modulator Subsystem Out1 In1 Parallel to serial Im(u) IFFT IFFT Complex to Imag Time Scope1 Transmitter B-FFT Complex Rayl Fading Complex Rayleigh fading Complex Rician Noise Additive Rician Noise Buffered FFT Frame Scope AWGN Channel AWGN channel MATLAB Function Commutator2 Remove zeros simout1 Constellation To Workspace FFT FFT C1 1 MATLAB Function Remove cyclic Extension1 Out1 In1 Serial to parallel1 IQ Demodulator Subsystem A-QASK Block interleave Interleave1 Viterbi Decoder A-map QASK demod baseband Pulse Rece iver Viterbi Decoder In1 Out1 In1 Out1 In2 Errors 0 Error counter Subsystem Delay Subsystem Run "constellation" after the simulation in the workspace to watch the received constellation The following routines must be included in the path: zeropad.OFDM for Wireless Networks 8.m remcyc.m Figure 20. Simulink OFDM Model December.m cyclic. 2000 Page 36 . Simulation The OFDM system was modeled using Matlab to allow various parameters of the system to be varied and tested. and to allow for different OFDM configurations to be tested.40 .

the 0 (DC) input must be set to zero in the IFFT implementation. the transmission was implemented in baseband to avoid long periods of simulation. e d u t i n g a M 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 Frequency (MHz) 4 6 8 Figure 21.OFDM for Wireless Networks Using MatLab 5. a good approximation to the real performance can be observed. Considering Gaussian and Rician noise and Rayleigh fading effect. Because of the Matlab sampling time. over all in the degradation of the BER. In figure 21. Also the channel effect can be observed in the output constellation before the Viterbi decoder using some routines in MatLab. 2000 Page 37 . according to the standard.40 . According to the standard.3 and Simulink the OFDM transceiver was simulated. The model can be seen in figure 20 The simulation includes all the stages for transceiver and receiver. 35 30 25 20 B d . This can be clearly observed at frequency zero on the graph. the OFDM signal spectrum can be seen corresponding to a random binary input sequence. OFDM Signal Spectrum December.

Also. the signal is observed after the QAM demodulator with the distortion due to the noise. Many companies are still researching and developing. the industry has not offered any interface yet. but this fact would be out of the standard.40 . just using block codes instead of convolutional codes. December. start time error and the effect of frequency stability errors.OFDM for Wireless Networks Using the 64QAM modulation scheme. 2000 Page 38 . OFDM appears to be a good modulation technique for high performance wireless telecommunications. over all for the receiver. Some factors were not tested here like peak power clipping. Figure 22. Received constellation for a given amout of noise Conclusion The IEEE802. The codification used for the system could be improved. The effect of the channel over the constellation can be seen in the figure 22. According to the simulations. But. The standard does not give rules about it and its implementation is up to the designer.11 Standard Committee has developed the standard for wireless networks with a 5GHz PHY layer and OFDM modulation. the pilot signal distribution could be modified to reduce the redundancy. which is the key part of the system.

Vol. U. pp. I would also like to thank Mr Ramez Gerges and Prof Stephen Pope for their support. Sloane. 1775-1796. Mosier. and Clabaugh. Vol.J. R. 1970.J.S. 1958. New York.. R. COM. F. 2000 Page 39 ... NY. issued Jan. filed November 14. IEEE Standard.OFDM for Wireless Networks The use of channel estimation is a very interesting function to be added to the receiver to make the system more resistant to fading and Doppler effects. 1996. R. A Bandwidth Efficient Binary Transmission System.40 . Supplement to Standard 802 Part 11: Wireless LAN. Vol. New York: North-Holland.813. Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specification.G. ideas and advise. Comm. Dec. Performance of an efficient parallel data transmission system.15. 3. pp. Bell Syst. 76. 488. MacWilliams and N. The Theory of Error Correcting Codes. Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. Tech. Wireless LAN is a very important application for OFDM and the development of the standard promises to have not only a big market but also application in many different environments. B. 805 . 1966. 1999. IEEE Trans. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my supervisor Dr Ronald Iltis for the suggestions. Dec.. Jan. Salzberg.. if it is going to be used aboard of cars in a highway. pp.A. Patent No. 1977. J. Synthesis of Band Limited Orthogonal Signals for Multichannel Data Transmission. [6] December.. over all. 6.728. References [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Chang R. 45.4555.. 723 . R. 1967. Finally. W. and talks to keep me on track. I would like to thank my family for the patience during the writing of this project. IEEE Trans.

1997. Vehic. [18] Tufvesson. Digital Communications.1997. December. Wireless Communications Principles and Practice. 169-177. 1991. An Analysis of Pilot Symbol Assisted Modulation for Rayleigh Fading Channels. G. 1993 [15] Classen. [8] [9] [10] Tipler P. 464-468. IEEE Trans. K. vol 40. IEEE Press. 1113–1125. Boston. pages 493-497.40 . Netherlands.. P.. 1997. and Cox. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Sehier. 1996. 12. [12] Van Nee. H. 4-7 May 1997. on Comm. Wireless Personal Communications 6: 359– 371. Prentice Hall..3 pp. IEEE.OFDM for Wireless Networks [7] Firmanto. Dec. IEEE 47th Vehicular Technology Conference Technology in Motion. vol. IEEE Trans. pp. 45. Proceedings of IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC). Beach M. F. No.1655-9. D. Code Combining of Reed–Muller Codes in An Indoor Wireless Environment. J. [17] Cavers. pp. F.T. no 4. Tech. 37. 2000 Page 40 . Future Communication Systems course. Maseng.S. IEEE Trans. . 2000. 1613-1621.... Physics for Scientists and Engineers. and Begin G.. [11] Rappaport. Maximum likelihood open loop carrier synchronizer for digital radio.. H. T. R. T. nov 1991. Pilot assisted channel estimation for OFDM in mobile cellular systems. M. Frequency synchronization algorithms for OFDM systems suitable for communications over frequency selective fading channels. pp. 1995. 3rd edition. Vol. W. J. 3rd Edition. Phoenix.. 1994. Haccoun D. New York. Prasad R. Proceeding ICC'93. pp. April 1994. Propagation and System Aspects. Prentice Hall. USA.. AZ.C. 1989. Meyr. High-rate punctured convolutional codes for Viterbi and sequential decoding. Artech House. T.. Commun.. OFDM for wireless Multimedia Communications. pp. [13] Schmidl. [16] Proakis. [14] Classen. Robust Frequency and timing Synchronization on OFDM. and Gulliver. Meyr. T. Worth Publishers. University of Bristol. Vol. pp 686-693. A.1639-43. pp 80-81. F.

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