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The analysis and design of space-time codes for correlated fading channels when the diversity gain is large enough is considered. We derive a simple form for a distance metric that characterizes the code performance in the presence of transmit correlation, and propose some design criteria to build good space-time trellis codes (STTCs) for correlated channels. For the case of two transmit antennas, we show that in strongly correlated channels, performance is governed by the constellation that results from the sum of the constellations associated with the transmit antennas. This suggests the use of new constellations to design better codes for correlated channels. The design criteria are then extended to any number of transmit antennas. Based on these criteria, we derive new STTCs for two and three transmit antennas that perform much better in correlated channels than the STTC optimized for the independent and identically distributed case. We also consider set partitioning applied to the sum constellation as a simple technique to design good codes for correlated channels. The codes derived show performance close to the codes found by an exhaustive search. Finally, we consider antenna selection as an alternative to build good codes for more than two antennas in fading-correlated scenarios.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2007