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In this paper we consider the design of a robust timing synchronization algorithm for pilot-aided OFDM systems in high-mobility fading environments. We first analyze the impact of both mobility and timing errors on the performance of a pilot-aided OFDM system for frequency selective fading channels, by deriving an expression for channel estimation error variance. The analysis will show that, even for high levels of mobility, a pilot-aided channel estimator is considerably sensitive to timing errors, due to the impact of rotations in different bases. We then show how this sensitivity can be utilized to design a robust timing synchronization algorithm for mobile OFDM systems, without relying on synchronization training information. Theoretical results are then confirmed by simulating the performance of an OFDM system in high delay and Doppler spread fading environments. Finally, we show how the proposed mathematical framework and algorithm can be used to address timing synchronization in the presence of a frequency offset as well. The analysis of this paper is the extension of the derivations of Part I , the accompanying paper on the design of a robust timing synchronizer for low-mobility OFDM systems.
Date of Publication: December 2007