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Channel estimation in multipath environments is typically performed using the pilot-symbol-assisted modulation (PSAM) scheme. However, the traditional PSAM scheme requires the use of dedicated pilot subcarriers and therefore leads to a reduction in the bandwidth utilization. Accordingly, this paper investigates a channel-estimation approach for orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) systems using a superimposed training (ST) scheme, in which the pilot symbols are superimposed onto the data streams prior to transmission. By using equally spaced pilot symbols of equal power and assuming that the number of pilots is larger than the channel order, it is shown that the channel-estimation performance is independent of the number of pilots used. The optimal ratio of the pilot symbol power to the total transmission power is analyzed to maximize the lower bound of the channel capacity. Overall, the current results show that the ST-based channel estimation schemes have a slightly poorer performance than the PSAM scheme but yield higher system capacity.
Date of Publication: May 2009