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This paper deals with channel estimation for ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless communication systems in dense multipath environments. An improved Kalman filter algorithm is proposed for estimating and tracking the channel impulse response (CIR) of time-varying channels. This algorithm includes two steps: frequency-domain pre-filter and Kalman filter. By introducing frequency-domain pre-filter to simplify Kalman measurement equation before traditional Kalman filter, the Kalman measurement update equations which include the solutions of measurement update, Kalman gain and error covariance matrix will be represented as more concise format. As a result, the Kalman iterative equations can be simplified so that the computational complexity is reduced. Simulations and comparisons are implemented to illustrate the promising performance of the proposed algorithm.