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An improved discrete Fourier transform (DFT)-based channel estimation for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing systems is proposed. Conventional DFT-based channel estimations improve the performance by suppressing time domain noise. However, they potentially require information on channel impulse responses and may also result in mean-square error (MSE) floor due to incorrect channel information such as channel delay spread. In contrast, our purposed channel estimation can improve the performance by deciding significant channel taps adaptively without requiring any channel statistical information. Significant channel taps are detected on the basis of a predetermined threshold. The optimal threshold to reduce the MSE of the estimation is also derived, and it is confirmed by computer simulation. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can improve the MSE performance ~6.5 dB compared with the conventional DFT-based estimation, and the MSE floor is not observed in any channels.