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This paper investigate the properties of space-time bit-interleaved coded modulation (ST-BICM) systems in fast Rayleigh fading channels. We first show that ST-BICM with QPSK signaling in fast fading channels possesses the uniform distance property, which makes performance analysis tractable. We also derive the probability distribution of the squared Euclidean distance between space-time symbols assuming uniform bit-interleaving. Based on the distribution, we show that the diversity order for each codeword pair becomes maximized as the frame length becomes sufficiently long. We analyze the performance of ST-BICM in fast fading channels by deriving an FER upper bound. The derived bound turns out very accurate, requiring only the distance spectrum of the binary channel codes of ST-BICM. Numerical results demonstrate that the bound is tight enough to render an accurate estimate of performance of ST-BICM systems.
Date of Conference: 29 June-4 July 2003