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Performance degradation of OFDM systems due to Doppler spreading


The focus of this paper is on the performance of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) signals in mobile radio applications, such as 802.11a and digital video broadcasting (DVB) systems, e.g., DVB-CS2. The paper considers the evaluation of the error probability of an OFDM system transmitting over channels characterized by frequency selectivity and Rayleigh fading. The time variations of the channel during one OFDM symbol interval destroy the orthogonality of the different subcarriers and generate power leakage among the subcarriers, known as Inter-Carrier Interference (ICI). For conventional modulation methods such as phase-shift keying (PSK) and quadrature-amplitude modulation (QAM), the bivariate probability density function (pdf) of the ICI is shown to be a weighted Gaussian mixture. The large computational complexity involved in using the weighted Gaussian mixture pdf to evaluate the error probability serves as the motivation for developing a two-dimensional Gram-Charlier representation for the bivariate pdf of the ICI. It is demonstrated that its truncated version of order 4 or 6 provides a very good approximation in the evaluation of the error probability for PSK and QAM in the presence of ICI. Based on Jakes' model for the Doppler effects, and an exponential multipath intensity profile, numerical results for the error probability are illustrated for several mobile speeds.

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