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Scattered Pilots and Virtual Carriers Based Frequency Offset Tracking for OFDM Systems: Algorithms, Identifiability, and Performance Analysis

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3 Author(s)
Feifei Gao ; Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Tao Cui ; Nallanathan, A.

In this paper, we propose a novel carrier frequency offset (CFO) tracking algorithm for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems by exploiting scattered pilot carriers and virtual carriers embedded in the existing OFDM standards. Assuming that the channel remains constant during two consecutive OFDM blocks and perfect timing, a CFO tracking algorithm is proposed using the limited number of pilot carriers in each OFDM block. Identifiability of this pilot based algorithm is fully discussed under the noise free environment, and a constellation rotation strategy is proposed to eliminate the c-ambiguity for arbitrary constellations. A weighted algorithm is then proposed by considering both scattered pilots and virtual carriers. We find that, the pilots increase the performance accuracy of the algorithm, while the virtual carriers reduce the chance of CFO outlier. Therefore, the proposed tracking algorithm is able to achieve full range CFO estimation, can be used before channel estimation, and could provide improved performance compared to existing algorithms. The asymptotic mean square error (MSE) of the proposed algorithm is derived and simulation results agree with the theoretical analysis.

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Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 4 )