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In this paper we evaluate outage performances of multirelay amplify and forward (AF) transmission over fading channels. We focus on the uplink of a two-hop based network where N (with N ges 1) single antenna relay stations (RSs) serve as non-regenerative repeaters for the message transmitted by a single antenna source node (or mobile station MS). Performances are derived at high SNR for arbitrary fading distributions over each cooperative link. In Rayleigh fading the high price of cooperation in terms of signalling (e.g. during MS-to-RSs transmissions and control messages broadcasts) causes a significant loss in spectral efficiency. Instead, provided that the RSs can be strategically positioned to benefit from a channel with marginal diffusive fading component compared to Rayleigh, this paper shows that this loss in efficiency can be significantly alleviated depending on the particular propagation environment. Closed form conditions on the fading statistics for the relayed links are derived to guarantee that collaborative transmission performs as if the MS node would benefit from the same diversity and bandwidth efficiency provided by multi-antenna transmission. The proposed conditions are computed for arbitrary distributed fading for the relays-to-BS link and are specialized for Rice faded RSs-to-BS links.
Date of Publication: May 2009