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Decision directed channel tracking (DDCT) at high fade rates in OFDM based systems is addressed in this paper. Existing DDCT algorithms like the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm (Al-Naffouri et al., 2002) suffer from error propagation and exhibit poor performance when applied to large frames at high fade rates. We propose a robust EM algorithm which mitigates the effect of error propagation and is able to track the channel in the decision directed mode even over frame durations experiencing 2-3 fade cycles. This EM algorithm uses the Huber's cost function in the maximization step instead of the non-robust least squares or Kalman cost function. Further, the noise variance is estimated using the robust median absolute deviation estimator instead of the standard maximum likelihood estimator. The proposed robust EM based DDCT scheme has a better error rate and MSE performance when compared to Kalman filter based pilot assisted channel tracking scheme with a 6.25% pilot overhead, even at a normalized Doppler of 0.04.
Date of Conference: 24-28 June 2007