Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Huseyin Arslan, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ken Christensen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard D. Gitlin, Sc.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Mitola III, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ravi Sankar, Ph.D.


Wireless communications, cognitive radio, initial ranging, channel estimation, error vector magnitude, SNR estimation


With the increasing advancements in the digital technology, future wireless systems are promising to support higher data rates, higher mobile speeds, and wider coverage areas, among other features. While further technological developments allow systems to support higher computational complexity, lower power consumption, and employ larger memory units, other resources remain limited. One such resource, which is of great importance to wireless systems, is the available spectrum for radio communications. To be able to support high data rate wireless applications, there is a need for larger bandwidths in the spectrum. Since the spectrum cannot be expanded, studies have been concerned with fully utilizing the available spectrum. One approach to achieve this goal is to reuse the available spectrum through space, time, frequency, and code multiplexing techniques. Another approach is to optimize the transceiver design as to achieve the highest throughput over the used spectrum.

From the physical layer perspective, there is a need for a highly flexible and efficient modulation technique to carry the communication signal. A multicarrier modulation technique known as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is one example of such a technique. OFDM has been used in a number of current wireless standards such as wireless fidelity (WiFi) and worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) standards by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and has been proposed for future 4G technologies such as the long term evolution (LTE) and LTE-advanced standards by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and the wireless world initiative new radio (WINNER) standard by the Information society technologies (IST). This is due to OFDM’s high spectral efficiency, resistance to narrow band interference, support for high data rates, adaptivity, and scalability.

In this dissertation, OFDM and multiuser OFDM , also known as orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), techniques are investigated as a candidate for advanced wireless systems. Features and requirements of future applications are discussed in detail, and OFDM’s ability to satisfy these requirements is investigated. We identify a number of challenges that when addressed can improve the performance and throughput of OFDM-based systems. The challenges are investigated over three stages. In the first stage, minimizing, or avoiding, the interference between multiple OFDMA users as well as adjacent systems is addressed. An efficient algorithm for OFDMA uplink synchronization that maintains the orthogonality between multiple users is proposed. For adjacent channel interference, a new spectrum shaping method is proposed that can reduce the out-of-band radiation of OFDM signals. Both methods increase the utilization of available spectrum and reduce interference between different users.

In the second stage, the goal is to maximize the system throughput for a given available bandwidth. The OFDM system performance is considered under practical channel conditions, and the corresponding bit error rate (BER) expressions are derived. Based on these results, the optimum pilot insertion rate is investigated. In addition, a new pilot pattern that improves the system ability to estimate and equalize various radio frequency (RF) impairments is proposed.

In the last stage, acquiring reliable measurements regarding the received signal is addressed. Error vector magnitude (EVM) is a common performance metric that is being used in many of today’s standards and measurement devices. Inferring the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) from EVM measurements has been investigated for either high SNR values or data-aided systems. We show that using current methods does not yield reliable estimates of the SNR under other conditions. Thus, we consider the relation between EVM and SNR for nondata-aided systems. We provide expressions that allow for accurate SNR estimation under various practical channel conditions.