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Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) technique has become a promising method for reliable high data-rate wireless transmission system in which the channel is dispersive in both time and frequency domains. Due to multiple cochannel interferences in a MIMO system, the accuracy of channel estimation is a vital factor for proper receiver design in order to realize the full potential performance of the MIMO-OFDM system. A robust and improved channel estimation algorithm is proposed in this paper for MIMO-OFDM systems based on the least squares (LS) algorithm. The proposed algorithm, called improved LS (ILS), employs the noise correlation in order to reduce the variance of the LS estimation error by estimating and suppressing the noise in signal subspace. The performance of the ILS channel estimation algorithm is robust to the number of antennas in transmit and receive sides. The new algorithm attains a significant improvement in performance in comparison with that of the regular LS estimator. Also, with respect to mean square error criterion and without using channel statistics, the ILS algorithm achieves a performance very close to that of the minimum mean square error (MMSE) estimator in terms of the parameters used in practical MIMO-OFDM systems. A modification of the ILS algorithm, called modified ILS (MILS), is proposed based on using the second order statistical parameters of channel. Analytically, it is shown that the MILS estimator achieves the exact performance of the MMSE estimator. Due to no specific data sequences being required to perform the estimation, in addition to the training mode, the proposed channel estimation algorithms can also be extended and used in the tracking mode with decision-aided method.