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In the IEEE 802.11a wireless local area network (WLAN) orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems, signal detection is to detect the arrival of the OFDM packets. Due to the burst transmission characteristics, a simple and robust signal detection algorithm is required for practical hardware implementation. We designed and compared three signal detection algorithms, which were performed based on the short training sequences transmitted in front of each OFDM packet, for IEEE 802.11a systems. A series of Monte-Carlo simulations were conducted to evaluate the performance of these three signal detection algorithms.