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This correspondence studies antenna selection for wireless communications systems that employ multiple transmit and receive antennas. We assume that (1) the channel is characterized by quasi-static Rayleigh flat fading, and the subchannels fade independently, (2) the channel state information (CSI) is exactly known at the receiver, (3) the selection is available only at the receiver, and it is based on the instantaneous signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at each receive antenna, and (4) space-time codes are used at the transmitter. We analyze the performance of such systems by deriving explicit upper bounds on the pairwise error probability (PEP). This performance analysis shows that (1) by selecting the set of antennas that observe the largest instantaneous SNR, one can achieve the same diversity gain as the one obtained by using all the receive antennas, provided that the underlying space-time code has full spatial diversity, and (2) in the case of rank-deficient space-time codes, the diversity gain may be dramatically reduced when antenna selection is used. However, we emphasize that in both cases the coding gain is reduced with antenna selection compared to the full complexity system. Based on the upper bounds derived, we describe code design principles suitable for antenna selection. Specifically, for systems with two transmit antennas, we design space-time codes that perform better than the known ones when antenna selection is employed. Finally, we present numerical examples and simulation results that validate our analysis and code design principles.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2003