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Second order statistics provides a dynamic representation of a fading channel and plays an important role in the evaluation and design of the wireless communication systems. In this paper, we present a novel analytical framework for the evaluation of important second order statistical parameters, as the level crossing rate (LCR) and the average fade duration (AFD) of the amplify-and-forward multihop Rayleigh fading channel. More specifically, motivated by the fact that this channel is a cascaded one and can be modeled as the product of N fading amplitudes, we derive novel analytical expressions for the average LCR and the AFD of the product of N Rayleigh fading envelopes (or of the recently so-called NRayleigh channel). Furthermore, we derive simple and efficient closed-form approximations to the aforementioned parameters, using the multivariate Laplace approximation theorem. It is shown that our general results reduce to the corresponding ones of the specific dual-hop case, previously published. Numerical and computer simulation examples verify the accuracy of the presented mathematical analysis and show the tightness of the proposed approximations.
Date of Publication: June 2009