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Spectral efficiency is of great concern in the return channel of satellite based broadband systems. In (Beidas, 2002) the feasibility of increased efficiency by reducing channel spacing below the symbol rate was demonstrated using joint detection and decoding for a synchronized system. We extend this work by addressing the critical synchronization problem in the presence of adjacent channel interference (ACI) which limits performance as carrier spacing is reduced. A pilot sequence aided joint synchronization scheme for a multi-frequency time division multiple access (MF-TDMA) system is proposed. Based on a maximum likelihood (ML) criterion, the channel parameters, including frequency, time and phase are jointly estimated for the channel of interest and the adjacent channels. The impact of ACI on the synchronization and detection performance is investigated. It is shown that joint channel parameter estimation outperforms single carrier synchronization with reasonable additional computational complexity in the receiver. Based on the proposed synchronization scheme in conjunction with an appropriate joint detection mechanism, see (Beidas, 2002), carrier spacing can be reduced significantly compared to current systems providing a substantial increase in spectral efficiency.